This memoir of Céleste de Chabrillan, former Parisian courtesan, circus performer, dancer, and wife of the French consul, offers a firsthand account of the years she spent in gold rush Victoria during the middle of the 19th century. De Chabrillan recounts stories of her childhood in the village of St. Kilda, her time spent in the Ballarat gold field, and her attendance of a public hanging and Governor Hotham's "beer ball." The publication of this memoir, which includes descriptions of her illegitimate birth, miserable adolescence, and celebrity career as a bareback rider and polka dancer, resulted in de Chabrillan's ostracism from Melbourne society and her being nicknamed the consul's "harlot spouse."
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