Presbyterians comprised sixteen per cent of Victoria’s population during the Australian colonial period, and much higher proportions of its elite in landed wealth, commerce and politics. In ‘marvellous Melbourne’, the community’s ‘respectable’ leadership strongly influenced a narrow public morality, failing to empathise with most people’s sense of enjoyment, and working-class needs. Unlike previous histories of the Presbyterian church in Victoria, this book uses letters, diaries and biographies along with church records to examine the religion from a secular, critical perspective.
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