Born in southern
Queensland, Hector Holthouse spent a number of years as a sugar chemist
in the sugarcane-growing areas of North Queensland and developed an
interest in the history of the area. He has also worked as a journalist
and, for a time, lectured in journalism at the University of Queensland.
He has written a number of books on Queenslands history. River
of Gold: The Story of the Palmer River Gold Rush (1967) is a dramatized
history of the 1870s gold rushes at the Palmer River in the hinterland
of Cooktown. River of Gold is the story of the gold rush to the
Palmer River. The field was discovered by James Venture Mulligan in
1873, and the ports of Cooktown and Cairns came into being as outlets
for the gold.
Cargoes, Holthouse gives an account of blackbirding,
the kidnapping of south Sea Islanders to work first on the cotton and
then on the sugarcane plantations of North Queensland. The trade began
in 1873 and continued for forty years, it being considered that white
men could not survive heavy manual work in the tropics. Cyclone is an
account of the devastating cyclones which have lashed the Queensland
coast and of the courage and endurance of the people who have experienced
in 1970, North Queensland in Colour is a photographic record
of the area stretching north of Gladstone when, as Holthouse realised,
North Queensland was "awakening . . . to the development potential
of another great asset . . . tourism."
Evelyn Evans set out from London as a companion to a wealthy woman on
a two-year world cruise. In sydney she met Charles Maunsell, down briefly
from North Queensland, fell in love and married and went with him to
remote Mulgrave Station. Their son was to become Senator Ron Maunsell.
Spose I Die is Evelyns story, based on her written
recollections and conversations with Hector Holthouse.
Back: The First 150 Years of Queensland Schools, Holthouse provides
an illustrated record of the way in which education was brought to Queensland
children. There are accounts of itinerant teachers who travelled with
a tent which served as both accommodation and schoolroom; photographs
of experimental buildings, which, in order to cope with the Queensland
heat, had canvas blinds in lieu of walls so that they could be lowered
or raised; stories of mission schools in remote areas such as the Torres
Strait; and the tale of the now-famous School of the Air.
that, "In the two hundred years since 1770 when explorer James
Cooks ship, Endeavour, first ran on the coral, more than five
hundred large ships and many more smaller craft have perished on the
Great Barrier Reef". Ships in the Coral is an account of
trade and shipping in these beautiful but dangerous waters.
River of Gold. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1967.
- - - . Cannibal Cargoes. Adelaide: Rigby, 1969.
- - - . North Queensland in Colour. Adelaide: Rigby, 1970.
- - - . Cyclone. Adelaide: Rigby, 1971.
- - - . Spose I Die: the Story of Evelyn Maunsell. Sydney:
Angus and Robertson, 1973.
- - - . Looking Back: The First 150 Years of Queensland Schools.
Brisbane: Dept of Education,
- - - . Ships in the Coral. Melbourne: Macmillan, 1976.