Alexander Macleay — From Scotland to Sydney Reviews

“Derelie Cherry set out to study Macleay for a PhD at the University of Sydney and decided to use her considerable experience in publishing to produce this biography herself. The result is a very handsome book, lavishly illustrated with many plates in colour … Cherry has also been able to visit many scattered Macleay sites and her photographs add both interest and depth to the text.”

Review of the Week
Beverley Kingston, Sydney Morning Herald, Canberra Times, Brisbane Times, The Age

“We are excited to see that Derelie Cherry has completed a Biography of Alexander Macleay. The Linnean Society holds a collection of Macleay Correspondence and we were delighted that this could provide vital information for this fantastic Biography.”

The Linnean Society of London
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“… the first full biography of Macleay, is sumptuously produced with a plethora of illustrations (many of them in colour) … gives a very entertaining and engaging overview of his life, especially in Australia … provides a great deal of interest to the student of Australian history in general and administrative history in particular …the observations of his daughter, Frances Leonora Macleay, are especially engaging … It is refreshing to read her personal insights into the characters of colonial society during this period … a more rounded and human figure … emerges (sic) … from the mists of history which essentially have shrouded Macleay and typecast him … provides a definitive and favourable overview of the life of Alexander Macleay and is well written, well researched, with a good index and all sources are provided … the overall quality of this work … is exceptional.”

Alan Ventress, Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society

“the book … is beautifully laid out and illustrated, which will assist the non-academic general reader a lot … it brings Macleay to life which is the first duty of all biographies. And what a life!”

Lord Charles Howick, United Kingdom

“What pleasure to read this book: the author has done Australia a service … a highly readable, thoroughly researched, and fluidly-written tome … That it is long and heavy is apt, given the multitudinous interests of the ‘Renaissance Man'… Thoroughly recommended.”

Stuart Read, Journal of the Australian Garden History Society

“Unbelievably this is the first biography about this colourful Scotsman. Author and historian Derelie Cherry (PhD'04) brings to light Macleay's eccentricities as well as his many achievements … The book, with foreword by Stephen Garton, is enhanced by beautiful illustrations and photos taken by the author … Finally, there is a book worthy of this founding father of Australia.”

University of Sydney Alumni Magazine

“This beautifully illustrated book makes a proud addition to Australia's historical store, especially since Alexander Macleay was so influential in colonial NSW … Yet he has been afforded no complete biography until now … Verdict: Rich in social and political history.”

Barbara Baker, The Courier-Mail

“… it's hard to believe that this is the first biography about one of Australia's founding fathers. Cherry's highly recommended, forensically researched book challenges earlier historical accounts, sheds new light on the colourful and controversial man and his many contributions to our history, and highlights the important story of the Macleay women … A superb read.”

Paula Grunseit, Australia & New Zealand Inside History Magazine

“For a person who played such a significant role in the early decades of the nation it is surprising that a comprehensive biography of Alexander Macleay has not before this been written … Today, Alexander Macleay is perhaps not as well remembered as he should be for his many achievements … This carefully researched and annotated book will do much to remedy that.”

Australian Heritage

“Derelie's book is a colourful, entertaining work which in no way undermines its value as a scholarly resource – about a man who, until now, has somehow missed being the subject of a full-length biography.”

Emeritus Professor Brian Fletcher, National Trust News Australia

“As the first biography of Alexander Macleay, a remarkable man in our history and his family's involvement with our Society, this detailed and beautiful book should be a ‘must read' for all our present day members.”

Keith Holmes, Linnean Society of New South Wales Newsletter

“Derelie Cherry studied Alexander Macleay for a PhD at the University of Sydney, and then drew on her career in book publishing to produce this biography. It's a beautiful book – well served by its many colour illustrations.”

Jennifer Cameron-Smith, Goodreads

“This first biography about this extraordinary Scottish gentleman is a detailed and copiously-illustrated 450-page hardback.”

The Scots Magazine

“This is a long-overdue biography of Alexander Macleay, the collector of the tens of thousands of insects that form the foundation of the Macleay Museum's collections.”

Sydney University Museums, University of Sydney

“Researched, written and published by Dr Derelie Cherry, PhD, this authoritative biography of Alexander Macleay is the first about this extraordinary man after whom many Sydney landmarks are named … I have an abiding interest in well researched and written biographies, and this particular one certainly had me hooked.”

Noelle Weatherley, Horticultural Media Australia

“This is a spectacular book. Beautifully printed on quality paper, stitched and glued binding, with a strong hard-back cover, and like another of Derelie's books, full of photos, illustrations and colour plates … careful and obviously meticulous research … This is history at its best. I strongly recommend this book as it is much more than a biography of a Scotsman. For anyone interested in the first 50 years or so of the colony of New South Wales, it provides much information.”

Gary Croker, Camellia News

“His story, compiled by Derelie Cherry from 18 years of sleuthing, is a great read and new view of early colonial life.”

Jennifer Stackhouse, Gardening Australia Magazine

“… traces the life of this colonial figure, whose story is one of adventure and a life-long passion for natural history and fauna.”

Australian House & Garden

“For a man who was so intricately involved in colonial Sydney, it is remarkable that there has never been a biography written of Alexander Macleay. But, author Derelie Cherry, has filled the void with her carefully researched and perfectly illustrated biographical history book … Derelie Cherry has left no stone unturned in her biography and sources some spectacular paintings, sketches and photographs to build a picture of the era and one of Australia's significant colonial characters.”

Australian Senior

“… the first biography mapping the life and legacies of colonial figure Alexander Macleay … the most comprehensive of its kind, with well researched storytelling and an extensive bibliography. Stunning photographs and reproductions of paintings help to transport you to a bygone era.”

The Garden Gurus Magazine

“Digging Deep reveals surprises … An 18-year-long obsession with the controversial colonial figure Alexander Macleay has produced author Derelie Cherry's latest book … after almost two decades of research and several fact finding missions in Sydney and overseas … a fascinating story of intrigue.”

Geraldine Cardoza, Central Coast Express Advocate

“ … Six hundred letters - written between 1812 and 1836 and donated to the Mitchell Library in 1957 – gave Alexander Macleay's biographer a daughter's insights.”

State Library of New South Wales Magazine

“Alexander Macleay had a huge impact on colonial Australia … Until this beautiful book, Macleay hasn't really been given the recognition he deserves …”

Scott Levi, 92.5 ABC Central Coast

“… we had a fantastic lesson on Alexander Macleay from the wonderful Derelie Cherry, who has dedicated many years to her book Alexander Macleay from Scotland to Sydney …”

James Valentine, 702 ABC Sydney

“Jacarandas come into bloom every November, a botanical marvel that delights many of us … they were brought here, along with wisteria, by Alexander Macleay, the controversial colonial figure …”

Fran Kelly, ABC Radio National Breakfast

“Until this beautiful book, Macleay hasn't really been given the recognition he deserves.”

Listen to Derelie speaking to Brad Storey on 92.5 ABC Central Coast

Purchase Alexander Macleay - From Scotland to Sydney

Alexander Macleay — From Scotland to Sydney, Derelie Cherry

462 pages | 170mm x 235mm | Cased/Jacket
Illustrated » 140 colour and black/white photographs
History / Biography
ISBN 9 780646 55752 6
AUD $24.95

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Also by Derelie Cherry: Two Dogs & A Garden

Two Dogs and a Garden Book Cover