Letters from Early Melbourne

This class has passed
This class has passed

What’s it all about?

The mail system in the early days of Melbourne was pretty chaotic to say the least! Find out how people used to keep in touch with their loved ones, and read some of the things people used to write to each other, long before the time of e-mail and twitter.

What will we cover?

In this class we will cover the organisation of mail from the very first days of settlement, and show its development into a more coordinated system. You will hear about some of the colourful characters involved and how the tyranny of distance and time delays made for many difficult situations. Imagine your family is on the other side of the world and the only way for your letters to travel is by a ship which could take months to reach its destination.

Finally, as language and letters are closely linked, there will be an opportunity for the reading of amusing and interesting extracts from letters and journals of the time, giving an understanding of how the Australian language has changed over the years.

Who will be teaching?

Edwina Lampitt has a BA from University of Melbourne and is passionate about history and why it is important for us. A trained Librarian who has worked both here and overseas, she is now Archivist/Teacher/Historian on the Tall ship Enterprize, the replica of Melbourne’s founding ship. She also gives talks on Early Melbourne to U3A and other historical groups.