As you might have guessed from the previous blog entry, we Australians take our early Governors rather seriously. After all, they did help to create the modern Australia. But sometimes we forget that there was a rather amusing side to some aspects of their lives as well.
Enter “Girt: The Unauthorised History of Australia” by David Hunt. This entertainingly irreverent book makes fun of everything from our revered Governors to myths about the poor mistreated convicts who were transported here simply for stealing a loaf of bread. Nothing is too sacred to escape debunking. If this book doesn’t make you laugh about Australian history, nothing will.
Even Governor Lachlan Macquarie, who is revered as a demi-god in Australia, is revealed as an egotist who insisted on having his name attached to as many of Australia’s geographical features as possible and was determined to restore his family fortunes.
There are two statues of Macquarie in Sydney. One stands in front of the Mint and shows him in a seriously reflective mood. The other in Hyde Park, looking along Macquarie Street (below), and makes him look like a gilded superstar in front of his adoring fans. The second one is much more in keeping with Hunt’s witty account of Macquarie.