The book was previously named as one of Booktopia’s Books of the Year for 2013.
Kerryn Goldsworthy, chair of the 2014 Stella Prize judging panel:
The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka sheds a bright new light on a dark old Australian story. In her account of the Eureka Stockade and the years leading up to it, historian Clare Wright revisits that well-‐trodden territory from an entirely new perspective, unearthing images, portraits and stories of the women of 1850s Ballarat and the parts they played not only in its society but also in its public life, as they ran newspapers, theatres and hotels with energy and confidence.
A rare combination of true scholarship with a warmly engaging narrative voice, along with a wealth of detail about individual characters and daily life on the goldfields, makes this book compulsively readable.
Clare Wright on winning the Stella Prize:
No one writes books to win prizes, but holy flip it feels astonishingly good to have won the Stella. Of all the prizes on offer, I reckon this one is the sweetest of all. The Stella Prize is like the Brownlow Medal of the literary world: all muscle and spine, with a touch of glamour. Without fail, the books on the 2014 Stella short and long lists demonstrate astonishing grunt, tenacity, courage, grace, vision, skill and sheer determination to reveal the world at its potential fairest. The Stella helps to keep the playing field at its level best. I am honoured to be in the company of these brilliant authors.
My thanks to the Stella judges, the Stella board, the many donors and sponsors who make this a truly grassroots award, my family for their constant love and support in the face of absence and Eureka madness, and to my magnificent publishers, Text Publishing, for taking the plunge on a big book of historical nonfiction about a bunch of noisy sheilas getting up to no good on the nineteenth-‐century frontier.
by Clare Wright
Winner of the 2014 Stella Prize
The Eureka Stockade. The story is one of Australia’s foundation legends, but until now it has been told as though only half the participants were there.
What if the hot-tempered, free-wheeling gold miners we learnt about in school were actually husbands and fathers, brothers and sons? And what if there were women and children inside the Eureka Stockade, defending their rights while defending themselves against a barrage of bullets?
As Clare Wright reveals, there were thousands of women on the goldfields and many of them were active in pivotal roles. The stories of how they arrived there, why they came and how they sustained themselves make for fascinating reading in their own right. But it is in the rebellion itself that the unbiddable women of Ballarat come into their own.
Groundbreaking, absorbing, crucially important—The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka is the uncut story of the day the Australian people found their voice.
About the Author
Clare Wright is an historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Her first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans, garnered both critical and popular acclaim. She researched, wrote and presented the ABC television documentary Utopia Girls and is currently writing a four-part series to commemorate the centenary of WWI for ABC1. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and three children.
About the Contributor
Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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