Cover of the 1963 pulp novel 'Eliza Callaghan'

The pulp novel Eliza Callaghan was loosely based on the life of John Batman and his wife. Robert S. Close was often in the news due to his racy novels. Eliza Callaghan was no exception. His version of events was not well received at the time, but arguably were closer to the reality of colonial life than people wanted to believe. An article from the Canberra Times in 1958 details the response to the book in America where it was seen as a 'realistic, historical story'.


Robert S. Close, circa 1963. Novel.


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The wives of Batman & Fawkner