Critics’ Reviews

This latest in the wealth of new material on NSW political history extends the three previous studies of twentieth century state elections (published in 2001) to cover all the elections from 1856 to 1898 in a single volume. It includes far more than just the seventeen elections, with each chapter giving a review of the government’s term before moving on to the issues and events of the campaign and the outcome of the poll. Preliminary chapters give overviews of the period before responsible government, the land question and the now unfamiliar system of voting in colonial NSW. Modern politicians must yearn for the era when an unsuccessful candidate had time to try again in a different seat! The book includes electoral maps and a wealth of political cartoons, as well as potted biographies of major figures. The extensive footnotes show that the six authors have mined deeply into the contemporary press to produce these masterly summaries of complex and turbulent times. – Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Vol 93 Pt 2, November 2007

The contributors have left no stone unturned, and have returned to primary sources to check and correct all published election statistics. Electoral maps are also included, as is an outstanding collection of political cartoons and line drawings, making this work an invaluable visual, statistical, and textual source. There are introductory essays on the lead up to responsible government, the land question, and contextual information about voting in colonial New South Wales. This is then followed by seventeen chapters that give a detailed breakdown of each election in the colonial period. – Australian Historial Studies, 39, March 2008

Scroll to Top