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Raffaello CARBONI (1820-1875)

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Carboni's eye-witness account of the Eureka Stockade incident has not received due recognition for its historical importance. It is the only complete first hand description and analysis of the causes of the attack on the Eureka Stockade and the main events which preceded and followed it.

The attack took place at Ballarat, on the Victorian Goldfields, in 1854 when police and soldiers overran the stockade which had been set up by disgruntled miners. The incident arose out of friction which built up between the miners and government officials as a result of, among other things, the practice of intimidatory checking of mining licences by officials. The action of the miners exemplified the spirit of comradeship and self sacrifice for a common cause which has come to be considered a common trait in the Australian character.

Carboni has a somewhat eccentric style, perhaps due in part to the fact that English was not his first language. Nevertheless, the book is very readable, with dramatic descriptions, an incisive commentary and shrewd observations.

Updated 4 August 04