Much of this past has vanished from the landscape, and from memory. For Bottoms, one of the chief tasks of the historian is to re-create the texture of lost experience, or, as his great professional exemplar Robert Darnton writes, to “uncover the human condition as it was experienced by our predecessors.”

Nicholas Rothwell, reviewing Cairns by Timothy Bottoms in the Weekend Australian Review, 6 February 2016, 16.