It's very rare that we see the emergence of a completely original idea in the world of books. Dame Edna Everage's masterly history of Australian civilization is one such idea, and, possums, you will never think of historical writing in the same way again. 'From our dainty gum nuts and towering Uluru to our world-class sharks and Opera House, marauding possums and poets, taking in game-changing inventions such as the dual-flush toilet and zinc cream, you will be amazed at what our sunburnt country has contributed to modern civilization.' Barbies. Bex powders. Bogans. Feral Koalas. The immortal pink Lamington, Australia's contribution to world patisserie. Plastic banknotes. Thongs, Uggs and utes. Not to speak of the Great Barrier Reef, goon and Nellie Melba. One of the world's most distinguished thinkers and cultural personalities, Dame Edna Everage has inspired generations of Australian artists and icons, from Germaine Greer and Peter Carey to Kylie Minogue and Shane Warne.