Published: May 2014
Winner of the Stella Prize, 2014.
The Eureka Stockade.
It's one of Australia's foundation legends yet the story has always been told as if half the participants weren't there. But what if the hot-tempered, free-spirited gold miners we learned about at school were actually husbands and fathers, brothers and sons? What if there were women and children right there beside them, inside the Stockade, when the bullets started to fly? And how do the answers to these questions change what we thought we knew about the so-called 'birth of Australian democracy'?
Who, in fact, were the midwives to that precious delivery?
Ten years in the research and writing, irrepressibly bold, entertaining and often irreverent in style, Clare Wright's The Forgotten Rebels of Eurekais a fitting tribute to the unbiddable women of Ballarat - women who made Eureka a story for us all.
Clare Wright is an historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant and radio and television broadcaster. Her first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia's Female Publicans, garnered both critical and popular acclaim and her second, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka,won the 2014 Stella Prize. She researched, wrote and presented the ABC TV documentary Utopia Girlsand is the co-writer of the four-part series The War That Changed Uswhich screened on ABC1.
'Lively, incisive and timely, Clare Wright's account of the role of women in the Eureka Stockade is an engrossing read. Assembling a tapestry of voices that vividly illuminate the hardscrabble lives endured on Ballarat's muddy goldfields, this excellent book reveals a concealed facet of one of Australia's most famous incidences of colonial rebellion. For once, Peter Lalor isn't the hero: it's the women who are placed front and centre...The Forgotten Rebelslinks the actions of its heroines to the later fight for female suffrage, and will be of strong relevance to a contemporary female audience. Comprehensive and full of colour, this book will also be essential reading for devotees of Australian history.' Bookseller and Publisher
'This is a wonderful book. At last an Australian foundation story where women are not only found, but are found to have played a fundamental role.' Chris Masters
'Brilliantly researched and fun to read. An exhilarating new take on a story we thought we knew.' Brenda Niall
'Fascinating revelations. Beautifully told.' Peter FitzSimons