ROTH, H. L. and BUTLER, M. E. and BACKHOUSE WALKER, J.,
Aborigines of Tasmania.
Cambridge University Press, 2009. 398p. Paperback. Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Linguistics. First published in 1890 in a run of just 200 copies, anthropologist Henry Ling Roth's The Aborigines of Tasmania provides a comprehensive account of native Tasmanians' life and culture. Roth, writing in the wake of the Tasmanian Aborigines' extinction, produces 'an approach to absolute completeness' that relies on the accounts of the explorers, colonisers, and anthropologists who preceded him. His work covers an exhaustive range of detail, from the Tasmanians' mannerisms to their psychology, origin, and language. Compiling his predecessors' observations and arguments, Roth often sets opinions in opposition to highlight the lack of consensus amongst those who encountered the Tasmanians. Roth's book is additionally valuable for the 'vocabularies' included in his appendices. The 1899 edition (225 copies) revises and expands the first, adding photographs to the first edition's illustrations as well as new appendices. It made an innovative and lasting contribution to an established research tradition. (Publisher's information).