Clare Wright wins Stella Prize for tales of Eureka women

Historian Claire Wright has won the Stella Prize for her book Forgotten Rebels of Eureka. PICTURE: BEN RUSHTON

Historian Claire Wright has won the Stella Prize for her book Forgotten Rebels of Eureka. PICTURE: BEN RUSHTON

AUTHOR Clare Wright has been awarded the Stella Prize for her book telling previously untold stories of women during the Eureka Stockade. 

The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka was released in October at an event at the Museum of Australia Democracy at Eureka. 

“I’ve been absolutely thrilled with how the book has been taken up,” Ms Wright said.

“It ran out in its first print run in four weeks, so we had the second run on the shelves before Christmas.

“It shows that people have a hunger for history, and history from a different perspective.” 

The Melbourne historian received $50,000 in prize money, 10 per cent of which she will donate to charity. 

She said the Stella Prize was like the Brownlow Medal of the literary world: all muscle and spine, with a touch of glamour. 

She was presented the award on Tuesday night in a ceremony in Sydney. 

"I went beyond the secondary sources and consulted original primary documents in order to write the story of Eureka from the ground up,” Ms Wright said. 

“There was so much information. I could have kept going, there was just so much material.”

She said she hoped the award would bring more people to the story, so that the story of women during the gold rush could reach more people. 

It is the second year of the award, named after Stella Maria ‘Miles’ Franklin, with Mateship with Birds by Carrie Tiffany taking out the inaugural prize last year. 

The award seeks to celebrate Australia women writers contribution to literature, bring more readers to the books and provide role models and reward. 

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