Dr Russel Ward was an Associate-Professor in history in the University of New England. He was educated at Prince Alfred College and the University of Adelaide. He then went on to teach at Geelong Grammar, Sydney Grammar and in New South Wales State Secondary Schools.

He lived for extended periods in most States of Australia and before the war he spent some time prospecting and road-mending in the Northern Territory.

The research work on which this book is based was done during a three years’ scholarship at the Australian National University.