The northern Sydney suburb of Mosman, a verdant peninsula between Port Jackson and Middle Harbour, has historically been known for its whaling and careening, pleasure grounds, artists’ and bohemians’ camps, and army fortifications. To the present day it is distinguished from other communities by a continuing military presence, the world famous Taronga Zoo, its scenic bush beaches, ferry travel and sailing.
Acclaimed historian Gavin Souter traces a two-centuries’ course of change from Aboriginal habitation to convict farming, wharfage, residential subdivision, quarrying, and eventually what Henry Lawson called Mosman’s ‘red-tiled roofs of comfort’. The story begins with the Borogegal, a clan first encountered by Europeans in 1788, and ends with the centenary of Mosman Council, controversies about environmental planning, and the rampage of a serial murderer.
Mosman deals with all the essentials of its subject (politics, schools, churches, sports, crime rates, garbage and sewerage), but more importantly it offers an illuminating case study from the wide-spread but sparsely documented social class of which Mosman is a microcosm. This life story of a remarkable suburb is notable for its extensive research, vivid detail and engrossing narrative — a combination not always encountered in the genre of local history.
First published in 1994, Xoum is proud to release for the first time digitally the definitive history of the Sydney suburb of Mosman.