This thoroughly revised new edition of Social Sketches of Australia traces the lives and times of ordinary people from 1888 to the present. Unlike more conventional histories, it uses little-known accounts ranging from regional histories to pen portraits, trade journals and diaries. Humphrey McQueen’s compelling narrative features the experiences of everyday life: what people wore and ate, the sorts of houses they lived in and what they learned at school. In addition, he looks at how they were affected by natural disasters as well as by disease and by working conditions in an increasingly industrialised society. Built up layer by layer, this is history with a difference: real stories about how we lived – then and now.