Albany historians Malcolm Traill and Dr Harry Freemantle publish absorbing new book on city’s past

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Albany authors Dr Harry Freemantle and Malcolm Traill.
Camera IconAlbany authors Dr Harry Freemantle and Malcolm Traill. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

Albany’s fascinating history has been documented in the pages of a new book written by local historians Malcolm Traill and Dr Harry Freemantle.

Albany: An Antipodean Arcadia brings together 14 voices ranging from new history graduates and seasoned academics to established authors including Sarah Drummond and Kim Scott.

The peer-reviewed academic journal, published by the Centre for Western Australian History at UWA, is the 33rd in a series that has been published under various titles since 1934.

Mr Traill said the book would “offer something for everyone” with stories on topics including whaling, pioneer medicine, local sport, Noongar language and the stories of Australia’s first female prison officers who were based in Albany.

“It is my first book that I have been associated with to publish which is pretty exciting,” Mr Traill said.

“It has been a really long process to come together but it is great to see the final product which I think is really beautifully done.”

With the 2026 Albany bicentenary approaching quickly, Mr Traill said the time was right for a fresh perspective on Albany’s history.

“It is probably the first book on a multitude of Albany topics since about 1976 when the last history of Albany was done,” he said.

“It is an academic book so I suppose it is sort of designed for serious readers but there is still a lot of interesting information in there that probably hasn’t been published before.

“I would like to think that they are all on a level that anybody can be interested in and spur a bit of interest in the history of Albany that people can explore a bit further.”

The City of Albany has helped print the book which is available at Paperbark Merchants and the Museum of the Great Southern.

Mr Traill will be joined by fellow Albany authors at a curatorial at the Museum of the Great Southern at 10.30am on July 21.

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