Literature in our Collection

Edwards, Hugh: Kimberley. Dreaming to Diamonds, Swanbourne 1991, ISBN 0646050303

Table of Contents        ¦         Cover Text        ¦         Book Review

Table of Contents

A Land of Distances and Savage Charm -4-

Southern Cross is Down -7-

The Fatal Shot -21-

Heartbreak Harbour -31-

The Hall's Creek Gold -43-

The Original Inhabitants -57-

Hoofs and Horns -71-

No Six-Guns In The Bar -83-

The Making Of A Rebel -97-

The Battle of Windjana Gorge -111-

Life and Death -129-

Daring Young Men In Their Flying Machines -143-

Coffee Royal and The Kookaburra Tragedy -153-

Atlantis: The China Connection -165-

Shots In Anger -179-

Schemes and Dreams -191-

Diamonds and A Changing Kimberley -203-

Crocodiles and Conservation -221-

The Breaking Of The Drought -233-

Acknowledgments -250-

Book Review

The book is a narrative history of the last 150 years in north-western Australia, covering the coming of white settlers, pastoralization, gold rush, tourism, and clash of cultures. It has one fatal flaw for historians and researchers, a total lack of references and citations. Occassioally the sources can be guessed, but checking them would be infeasible. That said, and assuming most of the information is accurate, the flow of narrative and sweep of history is wonderfully alive. Some sense of the times, of the assumptions and misunderstandings, as well as the evils, which coloured the history of the Kimberley is found on every page. Words and events from settler diaries and police records turn what one might think to be tall tales into historical accounts. The book is like a biography of a land, and you have lived the highs and lows of a century of struggle. The interaction of whites and Aborigines is recounted at the appropriate times and places, not glossing over the atrocities or portraying all Aborigines as innocent children of nature. The invasion of whites is presented as a kind of flood, with damage and death but also some advantages for individual Aborigines. Like with all natural disasters, Aborigines have adapted.