Feathered history

THE book Swanning Around Perth takes a look at Perth’s history using its black swans as a reference.

From a massive statue at Bassendean Oval, a flight of swans at the casino, to Edna Everage’s black swan hat, to beer coasters, badges and football guernseys, the slim volume is full of “oh, I remember that moment” reminders.

And also plenty of, “well, I didn’t know that” moments. For example, did you know French Empress Josephine was the first to breed black swans in captivity? Explorer Nicolas Baudin gifted a couple of pairs to her in 1804, and she was so impressed she adopted the birdas her emblem.

The book, by Melville locals Charmaine Cave and Alex George, has a photo in it of a stuffed swan that once graced Josephine’s Malmaison home.

“We got the photo from the National History Museum in Paris,” Dr George says.

Swanning Around Perth can be found in select bookshops, including New Edition, or from the authors at ageorge@murdoch.edu.au or admin@cavedesign.com.au


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