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"The most wonderful natural feature I have ever seen". With these words the explorer William Gosse expressed the awe he and many others have felt at the natural phenomenon of Uluru. The first white person to reach the central Australian monolith, he gave it the name "Ayers Rock." But who was Henry Ayers, the man whose name is forever associated with Australia's most recognizable natural icon? And why should he still be remembered today?Although the rock now carries its ancient indigenous name, Uluru, the name of Ayers is still linked with the the Rock's "discovery" in 1873. Indeed, "Ayers Rock" is one of the most famous natural wonders on earth and, despite its remote location, attracts over 400,000 visitors each year. This book, the first biography of Henry Ayers, focuses attention on the complex character behind the name and examines all aspects of his life -- from his humble origins in the naval city of Portsmouth in southern England, his migration to Australia and his career as a miner, businessman and eventually as Premier of South Australia -- a post to which he was elected seven times. It provides a fascinating insight into Australian history through the life of a man who was consistently in the upper echelons of influence and authority in colonial society and whose legacy lives through his association with the most famous and recognisable natural feature of his adopted country.
Jason Shute is an acknowledged expert on immigrant communities in South Australia and on Henry Ayers. He is a graduate of London’s Royal College of Music, where he won a number of prizes and carried out further studies in opera. He has lived with his family in South Australia for nearly two decades where he continues to work as a composer and conductor.
Table of Contents
Map of the Province of South Australia
'In search of a place to ascend'
Friends when and where you need them
The Year of Evolutions: taking hold of the reins
All that glisters...
A cuckoo in the nest?
'...into Parliament he shall go!'
Arrivals and departures
'Betsey' no longer as free with her favours
The ins and outs of office: keeping on track
The cuckoo exercises his wings
Slings and arrows
Home, sweet Home?
Meanwhile, back in the colony...
Telegraphs, Honours and the hard slog of government once more
Career and reputation in tatters?
A lonely apotheosis: raw young emigrant become Grand Old Man
Death and resurrection
Weights, measures and money
The Westminster system
The fate of the SAMA
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.