xantho_cvrXantho and the Broadhursts

by M. McCarthy

ISBN 978-0-85905-676-2, (New, 2017), 129 pages, A4, Illustrated, 400 grams

$30.00* + POST

From steamships to suffragettes: In attempting to understand the strange wreck of Western Australia's first colonial steamship SS Xantho, maritime archaeologist M. (Mac) McCarthy needed to get into the mind of its owner and operator Charles Broadhurst. Reviled and dismissed by his peers and most historians, Broadhurst was found to be Western Australia's first and foremost colonial entrepreneur, fore-runner to the famous, and in some cases equally controversial, Claude de Bernales, Laurie Connell, Alan Bond and Robert Holmes à Court.

Though creative, extremely hard-working and far-sighted, he failed at almost every turn – as a pastoralist, pearler, steam-ship owner, fish canner, MLC and guano merchant. Attention then turned to his wife Eliza Broadhurst a talented musician, teacher, headmistress, actor and feminist, then to their fabulously rich son Florance Constantine Broadhurst, an enormous success in the mining industry. Then attention turned to others in the family and finally to their youngest daughter Katherine, one of Western Australia's two Suffragists, her beliefs so strongly held that she was imprisoned and required to be force fed with others of her kind in Britain's infamous Holloway Prison.