The French Consul's Wife: Memoris of Celeste de Chabrillan in Goldrush Australia

Overview

This memoir of Céleste de Chabrillan, former Parisian courtesan, circus performer, dancer, and wife of the French consul, offers a firsthand account of the years she spent in gold rush Victoria during the middle of the 19th century. De Chabrillan recounts stories of her childhood in the village of St. Kilda, her time spent in the Ballarat gold field, and her attendance of a public hanging and Governor Hotham’s “beer ball.” The publication of this memoir, which includes descriptions of her illegitimate birth, ...

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Overview

This memoir of Céleste de Chabrillan, former Parisian courtesan, circus performer, dancer, and wife of the French consul, offers a firsthand account of the years she spent in gold rush Victoria during the middle of the 19th century. De Chabrillan recounts stories of her childhood in the village of St. Kilda, her time spent in the Ballarat gold field, and her attendance of a public hanging and Governor Hotham’s “beer ball.” The publication of this memoir, which includes descriptions of her illegitimate birth, miserable adolescence, and celebrity career as a bareback rider and polka dancer, resulted in de Chabrillan's ostracism from Melbourne society and her being nicknamed the consul’s “harlot spouse.”

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A detailed narrative of life in Melbourne told from the peculiar vantage point of a highly colorful, intelligent Frenchwoman.” —Melbourne Historical Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780522850666
  • Publisher: Melbourne University Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Clancy is a former senior lecturer in the French department of the University of Melbourne. She is a winner of the Victorian Premier’s Award for Literary Translation. Jeanne Allen is a former professor of French at La Trobe University and Melbourne University.

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