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The Vanished Land

Disappearing dynasties of Victoria's Western District

Richard Zachariah

The Vanished Land
The Vanished Land is the Western District of Victoria stripped of its identity, its social elite of grazing dynasties departed for their own reasons.

This melancholy exodus has increased recently as the myriad pressures of holding inherited land have become intolerable in a nation never intimidated by ditching its past. No longer is the Western District home of a ruling class that for 150 years bestrode an Australia riding on the sheep’s back.

The Vanished Land is a human tale of leaving, of a disconnect with the land, of submerged anguish and inhibited grief, a private story of loss told for the first time by an outsider with insider connection.

Praise for The Vanished Land:
'At the heart of this personally researched and vividly written book, as well as rollicking stories some of the old families wouldn't want told, there is a yearning for a place and time that Zachariah discovered and lived as a boy.' - Tony Wright, Age

'Zachariah's defiant nostalgia, lyrical prose and Chekhovian melancholy make for a tale of novelistic power.' - Fiona Capp, Sydney Morning Herald

'The Vanished Land has polarised opinion in the Western District.While no doubt a welcome addition to Australia’s bookshelf, it has produced tensions over how stories have been retold and conclusions drawn.' - Kate Dowler, The Weekly Times

'Zachariah’s account ... has broken new ground in explaining why rural towns or even whole areas have been declining over time ... There are no heroes in his story which is more about human loss and the demeaning of country as home.' - Nic Klaassen, Flinders Ranges Research

'Apart from being most readable, this book deserves to succeed because of the perspective it brings to the Western District and its SA connection, and to so many lives.' - David Smith, SA Life

'A nostalgic lament for ... the closing of a chapter in Australian history.' - Nick Mattiske, Inside Story

'A great read and a valuable resource for generations to come.' - Richard Beks, Hamilton Spectator

#6 on the Sydney Morning Herald's Top 10 History and Military Books.

Richard Zachariah spent many years of his youth in the Western District of Victoria, attending Hamilton College and moving among many of the families in the area. He has been a journalist, broadcaster and television host, becoming a well-known media identity, and is a lifelong racing fanatic. He has lived in London, Sydney and Melbourne, and now lives in South Australia with his partner, Sarah, on a vineyard and horse breeding property in the Adelaide Hills.
Format Paperback
Size 210 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781743055014
Extent 328 pages
Price: AU$34.95 including GST
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