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Sir Henry Parkes

The Australian Colossus
A non fiction book by

Sir Henry Parkes: Father of Federation, Premier of NSW, Statesman, Visionary, Political Leader, Poet, Humanist

May 27, 2015 brings the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir Henry Parkes. After he died, the London Times described him as 'a colonial colossus.'

Henry Parkes received little schooling and worked on a rope-walk, breaking stones, as an ivory and bone turner, ironmonger, labourer and on the wharves before trying business life and ultimately politics. He and his first wife travelled to Australia on an assisted passage. Parkes steadily educated himself, reading voraciously and widely, including all the great poets.

There has never been anyone else like Sir Henry Parkes in Australian public life. Not only was he the father of federation. His friends included Thomas Carlyle, fellow poet Lord Tennyson and British Prime Minister Gladstone. He convinced Florence Nightingale to send trained nurses to Australia. He conceived the international rabbit competition which led to the Pasteur affair and put Australia at the forefront of microbiology. He encouraged talented men to enter politics. Yet he shunned the limelight, rarely attending social functions.

Whenever he received begging letters, (which he did, daily), Parkes always wrote back enclosing money. No wonder he went bankrupt three times! Yet he was Premier of NSW 5 times, leaving its finances well in the black every time. He married three times, the last time to a 23-year-old beauty. Clearly, Parkes loved women, and they loved him. He encouraged women to attend political meetings, even though they didn't have the vote. NSW Parliament House dining room was managed by a husband and wife; when the husband died, Parliament wanted to fire his widow, but Parkes stood up for her, saying she was perfectly capable of managing the dining room on her own, which she did for years to come.

But not everyone loved Sir Henry; he had a long-running feud with poet Henry Lawson's mother after Parkes wouldn't give young Lawson the help she demanded and he constantly wrestled with political aspirants chasing his seat.

Used availability for Stephen Dando-Collins's Sir Henry Parkes

See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US

Hardback Editions

February 2014 : Australia Hardback
thumbTitle: Sir Henry Parkes: The Australian Colossus
Author(s): Stephen Dando-Collins
ISBN: 1-74275-797-9 / 978-1-74275-797-1 (Australia edition)
Publisher: Random House (Australia)
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

February 2015 : Australia Paperback
thumbTitle: Sir Henry Parkes: The Australian Colossus
Author(s): Stephen Dando-Collins
ISBN: 1-74275-798-7 / 978-1-74275-798-8 (Australia edition)
Publisher: Random House Australia
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

November 2013 : Canada Paperback
thumbTitle: Sir Henry Parkes: The Australian Colossus (Large Print 16pt)
Author(s): Stephen Dando-Collins
ISBN: 1-4596-7385-9 / 978-1-4596-7385-4 (Canada edition)
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

November 2013 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumbTitle: Sir Henry Parkes: The Australian Colossus
Author(s): Stephen Dando-Collins
Publisher: RHA eBooks Adult
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

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