Anyone who’s read this blog the time will know how much I enjoy and appreciate local history. And, there’s something really satisfying about a well written natural local history. I like the passion that goes into them. I like the appreciation of the local and the specific. I like that, in a time of globalisation, there’s still space for the really personal and regional.
One of my favourite books last year was local history of the Wimmera region and I must admit I thought I’d read everything about my own area, the Mornington Peninsula.
So delighted to find out about a new book I hadn’t seen before. ‘Mt Martha Lands and People’ by Winty Calder. Apart from the ghastly cover, which is probably designed for the local tourist market, it’s a beautifully detailed and comprehensive natural local history.
Sections include the natural environment, the first people, the meetings and clashes of cultures, the early results in coastal development, Federation to World War I, suburbanisation between the wars, and World War II itself and its effect on this area (many marines were stationed here for rest and recreation). Finally, it also charts the changes from role to suburban and importance of keeping some of the open spaces. I never say never for a surprise to find it in the local newsagent. It’s a labour of love, I like that too.
Funnily enough, I couldn’t find one image of the books cover on the Internet, so I scanned one in. It seems not everything, especially the local, is on the web yet.
Oh, also dictated this post aloud using Dragon Express software on my new blue microphone. I’m keen to use a lot more audio this year if I can.