When Dalley, a convict's son who became the first Australian Privy Councillor, died in 1888, The Bulletin described him as 'a man of many splendours, both of intellect and heart', and 'in many respects the most notable man Sydney has given birth to'. Nine years later some 10,000 peopl... e gathered in Hyde Park for the unveiling of his statue. A plaque in St Paul's Cathedral, London, commemorates him. Clearly someone with a story worth telling. Unconventional and perennially popular, Dalley was a major contributor to the political, legal and literary life of NSW. While the despatch of colonial troops to Sudan in 1885 is the act he is most often remembered for today, contemporaries admired him for much more - not least the use of his remarkable oratorical power, honed in memorable court cases, to champion causes such as religious and racial harmony and a gentler form of parliamentary politics.
‘This remarkable book... Robert Lehane has captured the very flavour of late-colonial society, from the bushranging days to the 1888 Centennial.’ - Reviews in Australian Studies
‘...much more than the account of a fascinating and full public life. It brings to life the colony of New South Wales…’ - Bar News
‘…those who…read William Bede Dalley will rejoice in a rich and meaningful life…’ - Canberra Historical Journal
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