From the Mountains to the Bush: Italian Migrants Write Home from Australia 1860-1962

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9781920694012: From the Mountains to the Bush: Italian Migrants Write Home from Australia 1860-1962
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This path-breaking study explores the experience of Valtellinese migrants to Australia between 1860 and 1953. Jackie Templeton employs the letters exchanged between the Italian migrants and their families to trace the extraordinary story of these sojourners who journeyed from the mountains to the bush. Complemented by fascinating family and social histories, 124 letters are reproduced in full. The Valtellinese did vital work and enriched their communities of adoption from the mining camps of Western Australia to the cane fields of north Queensland. Many long-term sojourners became permanent migrants who inevitably had to ask themselves, "Where is home?" Letters were the means by which, during long absences from home and loved ones, they attempted to maintain contact with their parents, siblings, wives and children, and to preserve some sense of continuity and stability. Today their letters allow us to peer behind the "salt-water curtain" and understand both sides of the migration story.

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