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Synopsis

Alfred Deakin (1857-1919) is recognised as an architect of the Australian Federation and served three terms as Prime Minister. Though his life has been well documented, no previous biographer has studied the intense spiritual life of this would-be poet, preacher and mystic. Drawing from volumes of Deakin's private journals and prayerbooks, in this 1993 text Al Gabay presents us with a complex man who had a profound sense of history and who, being convinced that his political life had a divine mandate, yearned for an understanding of his true duty. Throughout his life he was absorbed and influenced by the Occult and this book reveals the implications of this private spirituality for the political history of Australia. This illustrates not only the intellectual climate of Deakin's era but Victorian ideas of religious doubt, evolution, and reform.

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