The French Consul's Wife: Memoirs of Celeste de Chabrillan in Gold-Rush Australia

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Melbourne Univ. Publishing, 1999 - History - 304 pages
This memoir of C_leste 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 HothamÍs ñbeer ball.î 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 consulÍs ñharlot spouse.î
 

Contents

Introduction
1
Marriage and the Journey
15
From Courtesan to Countess
18
On Board the CroesusPeople and Places
25
In Port at Lisbon and the Cape
44
The Last Leg of the Journey
71
Life in Goldrush Australia
81
First Impressions and Settling In
83
Separation Paris and Melbourne
157
The Return Journey
159
Paris Regained
174
Reunion and Final Parting
195
Lionel on Leave
197
Letters from Lionel at Sea
209
Melbourne and Châteauroux
230
Death at the End of the World
236

Céleste the Landowner and Consuls Wife
96
Fights a Hanging and Trouble at Ballarat
104
The Move to St Kilda Social Life and Speculation
111
Two Neartragedies
120
Two Balls and Danger on the Bay
132
Lola Montez and the Theatre
141
Illhealth and Financial Disaster
146
Epilogue
248
Notes
256
Appendices
273
Bibliography
289
Index
297
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

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

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