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Book Club with Robyn Annear. Nothing New.

August 10 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


“I have a double-barrelled gun, silver mounted and in excellent order. I want, in exchange, a double perambulator.” Exchange and Mart, 1869.

Upholders, Shoddy mills, Petticoat Lane, fripperers – Nothing New opens up a wonderful world that, despite our love-affair with op-shops, is all but hidden from us in today’s world of consumerism and obsolescence.

Join the splendid Robyn Annear when she talks about Nothing New, her latest book, which chronicles the history of second-hand trade across the world and down the ages (Jesus’ clothes would have been divided up among the soldiers guarding the crosses as their perquisite, or ‘perk’ as we’d say today).

We are asking those that join bookclub to bring their own favourite story of an op-shop find or hand-me-down (I can remember the joy of growing taller than my elder sister so I would never have a hand-me-down again).

Robyn Annear is author of five books of history, including Bearbrass: Imagining Early Melbourne, winner of a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award in 1995 and still in print today. Her other books are: Nothing But Gold: The diggers of 1852The Man Who Lost HimselfFly a Rebel Flag, and A City Lost & Found: Whelan the Wrecker’s Melbourne.

As a curator, Robyn has explored aspects of Melbourne and Victoria’s history in exhibitions at the State Library of Victoria and the City Gallery (‘Up’‘Royal Melbourne’, & ‘Special’), besides writing exhibition text for the blockbuster A Day in Pompeii show at Melbourne Museum in 2009, and for the Museum’s permanent exhibition, The Melbourne Story.

Robyn has appeared on TV, talking about goldfields history, in Victoria Wood’s BBC documentary series, Victoria’s Empire (Episode 3), and on Tony Robinson Explores Australia (Episode 4: Eureka). In 2014, storyteller Jan Wositzky interviewed Robyn about pre-Eureka strife on the goldfields in his video series on the 1851 Monster Meeting at Forest Creek. Her most recent TV appearance was in The Crown and Us, a two-part series which aired on ABC-TV in March 2019.

Robyn won the Civic Choice award in the 2015 Melbourne Prize for Literature with her essay, ‘Places Without Poetry’. She is a past member of the Library Board of Victoria and was one of the State Library’s inaugural Creative Fellows.

In 2018, Robyn launched her monthly podcast, Nothing on TV, in which she ransacks Trove Newspapers, the National Library of Australia’s digital repository of historical newsprint, to present stories from a time when there was, literally, nothing on TV. If you have never listened to Robyn’s podcast – don’t waste another minute and start listening now. They are a delight.


ZOOM details for joining this bookclub

Topic: Bookclub: Robyn Annear
Time: MONDAY AUG 10, 2020 5:30PM , Melbourne,

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Meeting ID: 841 0102 9542
Password: 917922


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August 10
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288