The Illustrated London News Special Australasian Supplement PDF Download
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Spinning Tops and Gumdrops takes us back to childhood in colonial Australia. The delight of children at play is universal, but the pleasure these children experience as depicted through the book's photographs is through their 'imagination, skill and daring' rather than through possessions. Children play quoits and jacks, hide and seek, cricket with a kerosene tin for a wicket, dress ups and charades. They climb trees, run races, and build rafts to sail on the local waterhole. The photographs show children happily absorbed in the play of their own making. Being a child in colonial Australia was also tough. It was a time when school yard disagreements were sorted out with fists and 'the loss of a little claret'. A time when children could view public hangings and premature death was frequent, especially taking the very young and vulnerable though dysentery, whooping cough or diphtheria. The lasting impression left by the contemporary accounts, photographs, etchings and paintings of colonial children in Spinning Tops and Gumdrops is their possession of qualities of resilience, self-sufficiency and acceptance of their lot. Perhaps it was through lack of choice, or of knowing no other. Nevertheless, these were qualities that put them in good stead for the challenges many faced in their adulthood. Interestingly, these are qualities on which contemporary society still places a high value, but which today seem a little more elusive.
Panoramas, whether painted or photographed, were the nineteenth-century equivalent of IMAX or Google maps. These wide-angled views of landscapes and cities fascinated viewers, who had never before seen such far-reaching perspectives on the world around them. Based on the National Library of Australia¿s extensive collections, Capturing Time: Panoramas of Old Australia looks back on our nation through the magic of panoramas to the streets of Sydney when it was the convict capital, to the gold rushes of Melbourne and to Perth, struggling to establish a toehold on the continent¿s western frontier. Dating from 1810 to the 1920s, the paintings and photographs include historic views of all of Australia¿s capital cities, plus some country towns. Not only can readers imagine what it might have been like to stand on Sydney¿s Observatory Hill in 1820, for example, but also what it would have been like to stand there with a companion able to point out landmarks and tell the sorts of interesting stories that only locals know.