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ZOOM History Bookclub: The Maddest Place on Earth

May 12, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


We are delighted that Jill Giese, the author of he Maddest Place on Earth, will join our Zoom book club on the 12 May.

Due to  the COVID-19 pandemic this group will be conducted by ZOOM. Do read the book now (what else do we have to do except read?) so you’ll be ahead of the game when life resumes and we will keep you updated as to when and how the ZOOM meeting can occur.

Our bookclub usually meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 5:30pm – 7pm at the RHSV. We ponder the big issues and the small over a glass of wine and some cheese but for the forseeable future it will be in your own lounge-room.

Gold-fuelled Melbourne was booming, but dwelling in the fault lines of the proud young colony was an alarming fact – Victoria had the highest rate of insanity in the world. Was it the antipodean sun, gold mania, excessive masturbation, the heady pace of modern life?

The true story of colonial Victoria’s quest to cure insanity unfolds through the lives of three English newcomers – a gifted artist, exiled from his homeland for his madness; an ambitious doctor, bringing enlightened treatment ideals to his post in charge of the overflowing asylum; and a mysterious undercover journalist, who sensationally exposed the lunatics’ plight in Melbourne’s press.

Amid the clamour of fraught endeavours and maddened minds, the story reveals unexpected hope, creativity and ennobling humanity – and surprising contemporary relevance as we continue to grapple with this ancient human malady.

Winner 2018 Victorian Premier’s History Award

Longlisted 2018 Nib Literary Award

Jill Giese is a clinical psychologist and writer, whose extensive career in mental health encompasses many years of clinical practice and executive roles in policy and advocacy.

The following bookclub on Tuesday 9 June will read Mannix by Brenda Niall


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May 12, 2020
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Royal Historical Society of Victoria
03 9326 9288


RHSV, Gordon Moffatt Room
239 A'Beckett St
Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia
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9326 9288