In The land of Kangaroos and Gold Mines
A Frenchman’s view of Australia in 1888
by Oscar Comettant
Translated by Judith Armstrong
Rigby, 1980, [First Edition], ISBN 0727010859, colour photographic frontispiece, hardcover, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, a little edge and shelf wear, a little rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, no inscriptions, minor marks to front endpaper, dustjacket shows minor edge and shelf wear (see photographs)
“Melbourne in 1888 hosted the ambitious ‘Centennial International Exhibition’ to celebrate the founding of the first Australian colony, New South Wales. Among the visitors was ‘a genial old gentleman, with a white head and a young heart’ form Paris, appointed by the French Government to act on the juries formed to determine prize-winners. Oscar Comettant, in addition to his official duties, explored Melbourne with zest and two years later published his notes in a book in the French language.
This translation by Dr Judith Armstrong retains the lively and entertaining prose of the writer as it gives to Australian readers a picture of Melbourne in the 1880s seen through Gallic eyes. Comettant was entertained by Melbourne’s upper set; visited the opium dens of Little Bourke Street; explored gold mines, the Zoo, the forests, and the vineyards; and recorded with refreshing frankness the Australian way of life.”