SBS > Gold > Literature

Europe was struck with gold fever and hungered for any taste of the Australian experience. Returning diggers capitalised on this demand by publishing their letters and diaries in the form of memoirs. Journalism flourished as newspapers delivered gold fields news to eager readers in the cities and world news to readers on the diggings.


Journalism on the gold fields
The gold rushes, growth of trade unions, moves towards federation and an exploding population gave burgeoning newspapers plenty to write about. However a largely transient population of diggers made gold fields journalism a risky business.

Literature on the gold fields
Life on the gold fields provided an abundance of literary material for novelists, autobiographers, poets and newspapers.

Raffaelo Carboni: eyewitness to the bloodshed
Raffaelo Carboni wrote the only eyewitness account of the attack on the Eureka Stockade.

Ellen Clacy: a female point of view
Ellen Clacy provides a rare insight into the experiences of women on the gold fields.

William Howitt: traveller with a painter's eye
In his letters to friends and family, William Howitt tells countless tales of Australia's extraordinary diversity and beauty and kept meticulous records of the scenery surrounding the Bendigo gold fields.

Edward Snell: writer and illustrator
Edward Snell's sketches of life on the gold fields add to his wonderfully personal account of his time on the diggings.

Seweryn Korzelinski: a migrant's perspective
Polish migrant Seweryn Korzelinski describes the strange exotic conditions of Australia in his account of life on the gold fields



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Australian soldiers were called diggers, as many men who fought for Australia in WWI were diggers from the goldfields.
 
 

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