The Passing of the Aborigines: A Lifetime Spent Among the Natives of Australia


Bates devoted more than 35 years of her life to studying Aboriginal life, history, culture, rites, beliefs and customs. Living in a tent in small settlements from Western Australia to the edges of the Nullarbor Plain. She researched and wrote millions of words on the subject. She also worked tirelessly for Aboriginal welfare, setting up camps to feed, clothe and nurse the transient population, drawing on her own income and inheritance to meet the needs of the aged. In spite of her fascination with their way of life, Bates was convinced that the Australian Aborigines were a dying race and that her mission was to record as much as she could about them before they disappeared.Her personal life was unconventional. She was said to have worn pistols even in her old age and to have been quite prepared to use them to threaten police when she caught them mistreating ‘her’ Aborigines. She was also famed for her strict lifelong adherence to Edwardian fashion, including boots, gloves and a veil.

Publisher: John Murray, London

Date Published: 1944 (1st Australian Edition)

Book Condition: Very good hardcover minus dust jacket. The covers show minor edge wear, and surface fading in parts. Tanning to endpapers, otherwise a clean and tight copy internally.

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