Click on the ‘One Hot Crown’ Podcast above to hear me talking about Prince Alfred’s tour of The Australias (yes, that’s the plural) over the summer of 1867-1868.
This was the first royal tour in Australia, and it has largely been ignored by historians of Australia except for the novelty of an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the Prince at Clontarf, on the north shore of Sydney Harbour.
I argue in the talk that the tour has much greater historical significance that has been attributed to it, and outline my current attempts to write a history that uses the Crown, rather than any idea of the nation, as its organising principle. I begin the talk by trying to position my work beyond the nationalist orthodoxy that I think has presented history in Australia as too mono-dimensional and myopic.
I think our history is much wilder, regionalist, communal and contingent than is presented in orthodox histories. I think that the only historical constant is change, and that therefore nothing is inevitable. Hopefully, some of this comes across in the presentation.
See The Lost Option for a more orthodox view.