Iain McCalman

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Iain McCalman is an Australian historian, and research professor at the University of Sydney. He is a specialist in eighteenth-century and early-nineteenth British and European history and has a particular interest in popular culture and low life. He was born in Nyasaland, Africa and was educated in Zimbabwe.


McCalman was President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities from 2001–2004, and is also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. In 2007 he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for "service to history and to the humanities as a teacher, researcher and author, and through administrative, advocacy and advisory roles in academic and public sector organisations."[1]


McCalman's 2003 book, The Seven Ordeals of Count Cagliostro, Flamingo (also HarperCollins, US and Random House, UK 2003), explores the life of the celebrated and infamous alchemist, magician, freemason, and global identity of the eighteenth century, Alessandro Cagliostro.

'Darwin's Armada', published in 2009, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, examines the sea voyages of four naturalists, Darwin himself, Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley, and Alfred Wallace, and their subsequent roles in the controversy surrounding the publication of On the Origin of Species.

The Reef: A Passionate History: The Great Barrier Reef from Captain Cook to Climate Change will be published by Scientific American Books in May 2014.


  1. ^ "Search Australian Honours" (http). Honours - Australian Government. Retrieved 10 February 2008. 

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