St Kilda 1841-1900: Movers and Shakers and Money Makers

Carmel McKenzie

St Kilda 1841-1900: Movers and Shakers and Money Makers
19 June 2023

St Kilda 1841-1900: Movers and Shakers and Money Makers

Carmel McKenzie

Winner of the Victorian Premier's History Award 2024

The wealthiest suburb in nineteenth-century Melbourne, ‘Aristocratic St Kilda’ gloried in its reputation as a bastion of privilege and power. This meticulously researched exposé ushers you into the exclusive cliques and mansions owned by the merchants, speculators, squatters and others of their ilk who imprinted their aspirations and values on St Kilda.

Satirists found rich pickings amid its trappings and tiaras and pursuit of titles and the author Marcus Clarke mocked its mansion towers as ‘erections’. St Kilda 1841-1900: Movers and Shakers and Money-makers also probes darker aspects of the culture the elite carefully cultivated, including the oppression of servants and the deliberate alienation of the Indigenous land owners, the Chinese and the disadvantaged, before revealing how the lifestyles and choices of the upper echelon unwittingly hastened the collapse of St Kilda’s ‘golden age’. This is the vivid backstory to contemporary St Kilda, the beneficiary of the suburb’s extraordinary nineteenth-century rise and fall.

Featuring 185 photos and illustrations, and packed with anecdotes from primary sources, this work deftly connects events in St Kilda to a broader context, leaving readers with a rich appreciation of the way nineteenth-century St Kilda reflected–and affected–the social, political and economic history of Victoria.

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