Memoralising early Melbourne: ‘Garryowen’s’ historical, anecdotal and personal perspective

Liz Rushen

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n 1888, Edmund Finn (alias ‘Garryowen’), Irish immigrant, journalist and raconteur, memorialised pre-separation Melbourne in his Chronicles of Early Melbourne, 1835 to 1852. Finn’s Chronicles captured a Melbourne in which the Irish presence was intrinsic to its later development as the ‘Marvellous Melbourne’ of the 1880s. A highly original attempt at an urban social survey, Finn’s work was critical to how the colonists saw themselves and how we, more than a century and a half later, view the city’s development. Finn’s strong political values honed by his exposure to Daniel O’Connell’s politics during his childhood, and a deep appreciation for Irish history and culture expressed through his involvement with St Patrick's Society, reveal much about the man behind the pseudonym 'Garryowen'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-68
Number of pages29
JournalAustralasian Journal of Irish Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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