Historical information

This is a school text book used at the Wangoom State School late in the 19th century by members of the Giles family. The Wangoom school was established in1865 as the Wangoom Common School No. 645 and later it became Wangoom State School. It is now closed. Allan and Christina Giles used this book and their home was on the Allansford Road. Christina Giles, the seventh child of Henry and Mary Jane Giles, was born at The Maam, Wangoom. She died in 1899 at the age of seven from heart failure and kidney disease after a three months’ illness.


This book is of interest as it is an example of the reading books used in Victorian schools at the end of the 19th century. Royal Readers were introduced into Victorian school in the 1870s to replace the Irish Readers and continued to be used until the 1920s. They have no Australian content. The book is also of interest as it was used by Christina and Allan Giles, members of a family of early settlers in the Warrnambool district.

Physical description

This is a hard cover book of 188 pages. Some pages at the front and back of the book are missing. The cover (once blue?) has embossed lettering and ornamentation but mostly this is now indecipherable. The pages are partly detached from the cover. The inscription is handwritten in black ink. The text contains many illustrations and some of these have been hand-coloured and defaced. The first page has a mauve stamp of the Warrnambool and District Historical Society.

Inscriptions & markings

‘Allan Giles, Wangoom State School No. 645’ (partly obliterated)
‘Christina G.’