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La Trobe: Traveller, writer, governor

Author: John Barnes
Price: $59.95
Publisher: Halstead Press in association with La Trobe University and State Library Victoria
Available to read in the Library

John Barnes' comprehensive new biography of Charles Joseph La Trobe (1801–75), inaugural Governor of Victoria, includes extracts from La Trobe's personal notebooks and letters, and is illustrated with his evocative watercolours.

From his travels as a writer and naturalist in Europe, the USA, Mexico and the West Indies to his time in Melbourne, where he navigated the new colony through the upheavals of the gold rush, Barnes reveals many little-known aspects of La Trobe's life.

Extensive new research, much of which was carried out in the Library's collections, reveals new perspectives on this deeply religious man of principle, and engaging and versatile 'man of a thousand occupations'.

John Barnes is Emeritus Professor of English at La Trobe University, where he taught for 25 years, specialising in Australian literature. His many previous books include two other biographies: The order of things: A life of Joseph Furphy (1990) and Socialist champion: Portrait of the gentleman as crusader (2006). His current project is a book of literary reminiscences, Partial portraits.

John Barnes was founding editor of Meridian: The La Trobe English Review, and editor of The La Trobe Journal.

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