WOMEN OF THE DIGGINGS 1854
$50.00 inc GST
This book writes the women of Eureka and Ballarat in 1854 into mainstream history. The first section relates how women lived, what they did, what occupations they undertook and how they survived in a male oriented world. Their roles were important in many aspects of life and importantly in the lead up and during the battle of Eureka. Who would imagine that a woman would take up a gun during the battle? Others tended to the sick and wounded after the fighting, or, like Anastasia Hayes, remonstrated with their husband’s captors, indicating that they would not have allowed such capture.
In section two biographies of individual women are full of colourful facts as well as anecdotes taken from family oral history. This book relates the story of around half of the population that has repeatedly and consistently been “missing” from mainstream Australian history. It shows that women were not only present on the goldfields in substantial numbers, but they were active, managed amazingly diverse jobs, used court systems, ran commercial enterprises and exercised agency. Although written specifically about one year, one slice of history, this book covers much more and, although it is about Ballarat, the stories in it are relevant to most goldfields in Victoria.