My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Every graveyard needs a book like this: a little history, a little architecture, a bit of gossip, and a self-guided walking tour or two.
For the most part, I am woefully uneducated about Australian history. Because of that, I found the information about the Victoria Gold Rush, the return of the “diggers” to settle in Melbourne, and the early exploration of the continent to be quite fascinating. The labor struggles and political battles were also new to me. Best of all were the opinionated biographies of the people buried here.
The Melbourne General Cemetery itself had an unusual history, with this management overseen by religious leaders — and its monuments approved by religious censors — that stands in contrast to the rural and garden cemeteries that I’m more familiar with.
The only reason I’m withholding one star from this book is that there are too few photographs and those included rarely rise above overexposed snapshots. They don’t do justice to this atmospheric old place.
This was a great addition to my cemetery collection. I got my copy from Amazon and you can, too: The Melbourne General Cemetery by Don Chambers.