A Wonderful Change - the story of Robert Wrede including his Journal 1837-41

Front Cover
There are few, if any, books about nineteenth century piano tuners. Their lives might be expected to be unexciting and their experiences unremarkable. But the life of Robert Wrede, especially as told in his journal, was far from dull. In the three years he documents (October 1837 - January 1841), he travelled from England to Cape Town, Sydney, to the young Melbourne, and to Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), Adelaide, Surabaya, Singapore, three cities in India, and a number of small islands in between. He was almost lost at sea on several occasions, and suffered numerous horse riding or carriage accidents. He became an accomplished marksman, learned sufficient of the art of navigation to be able to take over from a drunken Captain, played in an historic cricket match, was involved in various romantic episodes, and jumped into the empty grave of one of the most notable figures in history. Meanwhile he tuned dozens of pianos and dined out on hundreds of occasions.
 

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Entertaining insight into mid C19th Australian life and habits
By Lins, from Park Orchards, Victoria Australia
This is a facsinating diary from the mid 19th century of a young man and his trip to and settling in Australia.
This book has similarities to Samuel Pepy's diaries in that he outlines everyday life, except that Wrede appears to have expected to have the diary read.
Very interesting how a young man was conducting musical instrument and other trade in the emergent and turbulent time in Australia's commercial history.
Also a glimpse of the life and times of well to-do Australians and their habits, meals etc.
Despite sounding somewhat dry, it is a page turner.
 

Selected pages

Contents

The Journal of Robert William Wrede
1
The Cape to Sydney 31st December 1837
33
At Sydney 24th February 1838
47
From Sydney to Melbourne 30th May 1838
69
At Melbourne 16th July 1838
93
Van Diemens Land 5th August 1838
105
At Melbourne Again 7th November 1838
133
To Adelaide 31st January 1839
161
Singapore to Calcutta 4th December 1839
235
At Calcutta 3rd January 1840
243
From Calcutta to Madras 18th February 1840
261
Madras and Pondicherry 8th March 1840
267
From Pondicherry to Mauritius 2nd April 1840
277
From Mauritius to The Cape 26th June 1840
295
At The Cape 13th August 1840
309
From The Cape to St Helena 17th October 1840
323

Return to Van Diemens Land 2nd April 1839
173
Melbourne Revisited 30th May 1839
183
Return to Sydney 15th August 1839
201
From Sydney to Surabaya 20th September 1839
209
From Surabaya to Singapore 30th October 1839
221
At Singapore 19th November 1839
227
From St Helena to London 6th November 1840
331
The Later Life of Robert Wrede
349
Epilogue
373
Acknowledgements
389
Copyright

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