The Art of Living in Australia
The Art of Living in Australia
Philip E. Muskett
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781920898601


The Art of Living in Australia was first published in 1893 and urged the value of Mediterranean eating and drinking habits for the Australian way of life. An experienced physician, Philip E. Muskett promoted healthy living habits appropriate for the climate and conditions of 19th century Australia, including the best clothing, household arrangements, necessary exercise and a healthy diet. Finding a resemblance between the conditions of southern Europe, he implores British-born Australians to eat more vegetables and less meat, in the style of those from the Mediterranean.

‘Australia is inhabited by a people largely carnivorous and addicted to tea. Surely not one person in a thousand would advocate such a diet under any circumstances …’
—Philip E. Muskett, The Art of Living in Australia, 1893

The book also contains over 300 recipes contributed by Mrs Wicken, lecturer in charge of ‘domestic economy’ at Sydney Technical College, including for salads, vegetable dishes, seafood and sweets.

This new edition includes the original index, plus facsimiles of pages of historical interest from the 1893 edition.

  • The complete guide to living ‘Down Under’ – in 1893!
  • Features over 300 original recipes
  • The first Australian guide to recommend the Mediterranean diet
  • Includes chapters on everyday life and food in 19th century Australia – clothing, health, exercise, the kitchen and more
  • Also contains a complete guide to Australian wine growing

Digital editions

Digital editions of The Art of Living in Australia are now available for the iBookstore. If you would like more information, or to request another format, please email us.

Author Biography

Philip Edward Muskett was an Australian-born medical practitioner and health reformer. Born in Collingwood in 1857, he studied medicine at universities in Melbourne, Glasgow and Edinburgh, and then practised in London before returning to Melbourne. In 1882 he took up a position at Sydney Hospital, and remained an honorary surgeon there after going into private practice.

As many of his patients were children, he became interested in infant health and mortality, and particularly the role of nutrition in preventing illness. This led to The Art of Living in Australia, published in 1893, his call to the Australian population to rethink all aspects of their physical life, and embrace Australia’s ‘Mediterranean’ climate. His recommendations included best practices for ablution, bedroom ventilation, appropriate clothing for hot and cold weather, diet and exercise.

Harriett Frances Wicken (1847–1937) was born in Lambeth, England. A widowed mother of seven, in 1874 she graduated from the National Training School for Cookery in London and began teaching. Her first cookery book was published in 1885. In 1886 she migrated to Victoria before eventually settling in Sydney, where she was appointed lecturer in charge of domestic economy at Sydney Technical College.


Part I: The Art of Living In Australia

1 The Climate of Australia.

2 The Alphabetical Pentagon of Health for Australia.

3 Ablution–The Skin and the Bath.

4 Bedroom Ventilation.

5 Clothing, and What to Wear.

6 Diet.

7 Exercise.

8 On School Cookery and its Influence on the Australian Daily Life.

9 Australian Food Habits and their Faults.–A Plea for their Improvement.

10 Australian Fish and Oysters–and their Food Value.

11 On Salads; Salad Plants and Herbs; and Salad Making.

12 On Australian Wine, and its Place in the Australian Daily Dietary.

Part II: Australian Cookery Recipes and Accessory Kitchen Information.

13 The Kitchen.

14 The Ice Chest.

15 The Stock Pot.

16 Soup.

17 Fifty Recipes for Soups.

18 Fifty Recipes for Fish.

19 Fifty Recipes for Meat Dishes.

20 Fifty Recipes for Vegetables.

21 Fifty Recipes for Salads and Sauces.

22 Fifty Recipes for Sweets.


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