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Publisher Description

The story behind Banjo Paterson's iconic Australian song. 'Once a jolly swagman camped by a Billabong
Under the shade of a Coolibah tree
And he sang as he watched and waited till his Billy boiled
You'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me...'

In 1894, twelve-year-old Matilda flees the city slums to find her unknown father and his farm. But drought grips the land, and the shearers are on strike. Her father has turned swaggie and he's wanted by the troopers. In front of his terrified daughter, he makes a stand against them, defiant to the last. 'You'll never catch me alive, said he...'

Set against a backdrop of bushfire, flood, war and jubilation, this is the story of one girl's journey towards independence. It is also the story of others who had no vote and very little but their dreams.

Drawing on the well-known poem by A.B. Paterson and from events rooted in actual history, this is the untold story behind Australia's early years as an emerging nation.


'Jackie French has a passion for history, and an enviable ability to weave the fascinating minutiae of everyday life into a good story.' -- Magpies Magazine

1 December
HarperCollins Australia Pty Limited

Customer Reviews

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A waltz for mitilda

This sad, touching book really opens your mind of young australia my daughter adored it!

Domo600 ,


This book is mind blowing I can never put it down Jackie French has done a great job with this book definitely Five Stars!!

;) :) :o ,

The most amazing book and writer

I am still reading this book but I am almost finished, it's so hard to put down this book it's just need to be finished. I am 14 and I got this book when I was 12 I read small amounts of this book when I was 12 but it's just depends of how much you love reading! Also Jackie French is just an amazing writer I have fall in love with her books she makes me feel like this type of book is a movie in my mind and I can actually hear the voices when the Australian men speak. So thank you so much Jackie French you have made me stop self harm and made me just fall in love with your amazing books, thank you so much!

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