All Blogs / Local Interest / Australia / Melbourne / New

‘Ever yours, C. H. Spence’ ed. Susan Magarey, with Barbara Wall, Mary Lyons and Maryan Beams

2005, 356 p & notes The autobiography is a strange beast.  Unlike the diary which may or may not have another reader in mind, there is usually an assumption on the part of the writer that someone is going to … Continue reading ?

‘Unbridling the Tongues of Women’ by Susan Magarey

2nd edition 2010, (1985) 214 p. Available as free PDF at Catherine Helen Spence observed once that law and custom had “put a bridle on the tongues of women”. When in 1871 she actually read her own lecture to … Continue reading ?

‘The Neapolitan Quartet’ by Elena Ferrante

A couple of years back the books section of the now much-depleted Age used to publish the independent and chain-store 10 bestsellers for the week.  Month after month both lists were dominated by Elena Ferrante’s books, both in hardback and … Continue reading ?

Strange things from the box of photos No 4

You might remember that we were going through a box of photos, looking for images that could be used in Dad’s memorial service. Ever the historian, I was attracted to things that my brother wasn’t. Oh dear. My maternal grandmother … Continue reading ?

Movie: I, Tonya

I really enjoyed this.  It’s filmed as a mockumentary and it places competing narratives against each other. After seeing the film, we watched ‘Tonya Harding: The Price of Gold” which is available on SBS On Demand.  I’m really glad that … Continue reading ?

Podcast: Tom Griffiths on ‘Radical Histories for Uncanny Times’

Tom Griffiths is one of my favourite Australian historians. He is the Director of the Centre of Environmental History ANU, and a fiercely intelligent and very human man. He’s a beautiful writer, who captures images so well in words, and … Continue reading ?

‘Frank Hardy: Politics Literature Life’ by Jenny Hocking

2005,  258 P & notes I don’t particularly remember Frank Hardy.  If asked off the top of my head, I would have said that he died in the 1970s. I’m like the former premier of New South Wales Barry Unsworth … Continue reading ?

A couple of days in Marysville

It’s been a rough month or so, and we decided to head away for a couple of days. I’m keen to head back to Tasmania this year but Steve’s U3A commitments preclude going away for more than a week. So … Continue reading ?

‘The Burgess Boys’ by Elizabeth Strout

2013, 326 p. The ‘Burgess Boys’ are both lawyers: Jim a hot-shot defence lawyer and Bob, an easy-going, rather aimless legal-aid lawyer, both living in New York.  They are called home by their sister Susan, who needs their legal help … Continue reading ?

Movie: Sweet Country

Set in the Northern Territory in 1929 and based on actual events, this is a beautiful filmed story of menace and injustice. When an aboriginal stockman kills a crazed white station owner in self-defence, he and his wife escape into … Continue reading ?

Movie: Menasche

This is certainly no action movie, and it’s more an exploration of a situation than a plot. Menashe is a widower, and as a result his son is taken from his custody and raised in his brother-in-law’s house in a … Continue reading ?

Hardcore History podcast: Blueprint for Armageddon

I’ve taken to trying to walk a bit more for fitness, and so I kit myself up with my smartphone and wireless headphones, turn on a podcast and off I go.  For the past 23 hours I’ve been listening to … Continue reading ?

‘Innocent Erendira and Other Stories’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

1972, 192 p. Last year I did an online course about Macondo, the setting for many of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s stories and novels (see course details here).  Of course, I read all the stories in English, but I found the … Continue reading ?

A day trip to Kyneton

The sun was shining and we had no commitments. So we hopped into the Big Red Car and drove up to Kyneton, about ninety kilometres from Melbourne.  A former gold rush town, it still has many original buildings and the … Continue reading ?

‘Zoffany’s daughter’ by Stephen Foster

2017, 138 p & notes It must be all those Dickens and Trolloppe BBC miniseries. When you’re reading 19th century colonial letters and newspapers, you’re often engulfed with a sense of deja vu. You’ve seen these dilemmas before; the characters … Continue reading ?

Museo Italiano, Carlton

In January we had a day off from caring for Dad. It was a stinking hot day (41 degrees) and coming out of the air-conditioned comfort of Cinema Nova, we weren’t quite ready to head home yet but didn’t want … Continue reading ?

Movie: Wonder

Dad thought I’d probably enjoy this. Then he thought again.  As someone with a cleft lip and palate, I’ve had my own share of stares and cruelties as a child.  I’ve also felt the pain of being the parent of … Continue reading ?

‘Australian Ways of Death’ by Pat Jalland

2002,  328 p & notes This might seem a really perverse book for me to have read recently. My father died a fortnight ago, and I began reading it while he was gravely ill. You’ll note from the title of … Continue reading ?

Strange things from the box of photos No. 3

This certificate was awarded to my mother when she was in Grade Six.  It’s hard to imagine Grade Six girls (because I’m sure that it was only girls) being taught baby-wrangling at school today.  No doubt these 1930s girls would … Continue reading ?

‘Anything is Possible’ by Elizabeth Strout

2017, 254 p. The front cover of this book announces that it is “From the author of My Name is Lucy Barton“. That’s important, because the books are matching parts of the same scenario: the famous Lucy Barton has written … Continue reading ?

Copyright © 2015 Regator, LLC