Corners of Melbourne

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Melbourne's favourite historian, as seen in the acclaimed documentary, The Lost City of Melbourne, takes us on an unorthodox tour of the city's streets and corners, telling stories about the events and people that have made these the most interesting places to be.


What better defines a city than its street corners? A corner gives you a starting point, a destination and a place to turn. It's furnished with pillar boxes, newsstands and tram stops, and lamp-posts for light and lounging. Where would you be likeliest to find a pub? At the corner, of course. And who better than Robyn Annear to usher you around the corners of Melbourne, and reveal their bizarre, baroque and mostly forgotten stories?

In this (appropriately corner-shaped) book she will introduce you to:

  • street-corner 'galvanisers' who offered the thrill of electric shock at threepence a time
  • the rude boys of the Fitzroy back streets who became the original 'larrikins'
  • infants named for the corners on which they'd been abandoned
  • a rogues' gallery of unruly women, incorrigible men and runaway horses

...and, of course, the civic reprobates who discarded orange peel in the streets, to the endangerment of life and limb.

Robyn Annear's books include Bearbrass: Imagining Early Melbourne, Nothing but Gold: The Diggers of 1852, Nothing New: A History of Second-handand Adrift in Melbourne. Her podcast 'Nothing on TV' presents stories from Trove historical newspapers. Robyn also appeared in the popular 2022 documentary, The Lost City of Melbourne.

'Annear tackles her sprawling subject matter with her trademark wit and her knack for singling out the perfect historical reference.' Age

'An unexpected delight. Annear writes history with a smile but with a deadly acerbic stare...On this tour of Melbourne we are in the best possible hands.' Saturday Paper