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June 19 , 2011


Melbourne When It Was the Capital City of Australia 1901-28


An original and intriguing history of Melbourne at the tumultuous start of the twentieth century, illustrated throughout with contemporary drawings and photos.

In 1901 Melbourne was a small city. Then the founders of the Australian Commonwealth decided it was the best place to house the new Federal Parliament while they awaited the completion of the capital in Canberra. And as the world hurtled into a new era, this overgrown village oversaw not only the birth of modern Australia, but many of the wider changes sweeping the world at large.

Who made it happen? People like Helena Rubinstein, front-runner in the invention of the cosmetics industry; the Tait brothers, producers of the world's first feature film; confectionery king Mac Robertson, pioneer of the art of packaging; John Monash, man of steel, hero of concrete. And Melba herself, the original diva: Australia's first international superstar.

In Capital, Kristin Otto illuminates the small-town web of influence, friendship and sheer coincidence that held it all together.

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