The Lure of the Local

I love the carefully constructed local history, like Les Blake’s ‘The Land of the Lowan – 100 Years in Nhill and West Wimmera’, published by the Nhill and District Historical Society in 1976′ which I found in a local second hand bookshop this week.

Les Blake wrote a string of books including two on the Wimmera poet John Shaw Neilson, and this book, with its shiny 70s paper and its detailed little maps, fits nicely into that faintly eclectic, always passionate evocations of the local place. I can’t find much more about him online, he was in the Education Department, and died in 1987, but books like this, unprofitable and often unpublishable, should always have a place in the world.

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