Blue Lake: Finding Dudley Flats and the West Melbourne Swamp
Paperback $35.00 - Scribe Publications
Australian Non Fiction - Published: 3/Sep/2018 - ISBN: 9781925322743
David Sornig examines how the 8km-square zone to the west of central Melbourne has passed through various incarnations – from fertile wetland with a large blue saltwater lagoon; to boneyards and rubbish tips; through the Depression-era Dudley Flats shanty town - to the modern-day docks. As well as a place-history Blue Lake is also a biography of three characters- Elsie Williams, a Bendigo-born singer of Afro-Caribbean origin; Jack Peacock, the king of Dudley Flats' tip-scavenging economy; and Lauder Heinrich Rogge, a German hermit who lived for decades with sixty dogs on a stranded ship. By charting the rises and falls in their individual fortunes, Sornig reveals cracks in the colonial mythology of the ordered vision of progressive, urban Melbourne and encourages us to look at our streets and buildings for their intricate layers of time and history.
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