Author in-conversation: John Barnes on Charles Joseph La Trobe

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Mount Wellington, CJ La Trobe, watercolour on buff paper, 1847, Charles Joseph La Trobe Archive, State Library Victoria
29 June 2017, 11:00am12:15pm
LocationRed Rotunda, Cowen Gallery
Accessibility Has wheelchair access

Join author John Barnes and Kevin Molloy as they shed new light on Charles Joseph La Trobe, the subject of Barnes’ new biography, La Trobe: traveller, writer, governor.

The book reveals new perspectives on this often-misunderstood man, who had travelled as a naturalist and writer through Europe, the USA and Mexico, and as a government official in the West Indies, before arriving in Melbourne in 1839 – where he navigated the new colony through the upheavals of the gold rush.

The book includes extracts from La Trobe’s personal notebooks and letters and is illustrated with his evocative watercolours, revealing him to be an engaging and versatile ‘man of a thousand occupations’.

Published by Halstead Press in association with State Library Victoria and La Trobe University.

This event will include a rare viewing of a selection of La Trobe’s journals, letters and watercolours from the Library’s collection.

About the speakers

  • John Barnes is Emeritus Professor of English at La Trobe University, where he taught for 25 years. His 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). John was founding editor of Meridian: the La Trobe English review and editor of the La Trobe Journal.
  • Kevin Molloy is Manager of the Manuscripts Collection at State Library of Victoria. He completed his PhD at Trinity College, Dublin, and has ongoing research interests in Irish and Australian cultural history.

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