In 1882 a series of articles appeared in Sydney’s Evening News describing several municipalities and boroughs on the outskirts of the city of Sydney. Over many weeks between July and September 1882 the boroughs and municipalities of Paddington, Waverly, Randwick, Redfern, Darlington, Waterloo, Alexandria, Macdonaldtown (Erskineville), Newtown, St. Peters, The Glebe, Camperdown, and Balmain are described in detail. Introducing the first of the localities surveyed the unknown author established their premise:
If we go outside the city proper — to which we shall advert by-and-bye — and view the environs, old and new… what do we find in the way of roads and streets, house drainage and sewage, land drainage, house building? The sub-division of portions of land, and other matters peculiar to the surrounding of that solitude so much desired by the many who do not believe, with Bryant, in dwelling,
∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ amidst the crowd,
Through the great city rolled,
With everlasting murmur deep and loud —
Choking the ways that wind,
Mongst the proud piles, and the work of human mind.
But rather, when tired of the world’s incessant noise, seek the rural bower where in reflection they would sit enjoying a calm retreat, and casting their eyes around are softened by the charmer — nature’s silent voice.