Told through the lives of six families, from the colourful goldfields’ era to the Second World War, The Wealth Beneath Their Feet is a social history of the central goldfields of Victoria. These stories of immigrant families with limited or no financial resources are, at times, heart-rending, and we suffer along with them in their trials and tribulations; from women who suffered the perils of childbearing, raising children in the primitive conditions of the goldfields, to men seduced by the tales of riches beneath their feet, despite the ever-present dangers of mining and unrelenting work.
As the mining declined, the town grew; with the construction of roads and railways, and the provision of a reliable water supply to the parched inland, providing employment for those who were still young and strong.
Marjorie Theobald has taught in government schools, private schools and universities. She was a Reader and Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne and is currently an honorary Senior Research Fellow in the History Department. She is the author of several books on the history of education and in retirement she has returned to Castlemaine and the pursuit of local social history. Theobald also volunteers at the Castlemaine Historical Society.