Abbey's Bookshop Logo
Go to my checkout basket
Login to Abbey's Bookshop
Register with Abbey's Bookshop
New Releases

Australian Biography

The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller: An Australian's True Story of Adventure, Danger, Romance and Murder

The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller: An Australian's True Story of Adventure, Danger, Romance and Murder

Carol Baxter

$32.99
Double Reward Points
More info
'Mrs Keith Miller, internationally known aviatrix, was taken to the county jail here today and held for investigation by State Attorney's investigators. Jail attendants said they understood she was held in connection with the shooting of an airline pilot.'

Petite, glamorous and beguiling, Jessie 'Chubbie' Miller was one remarkable woman ... flyer, thrill seeker, heartbreaker. No adventure was too wild for her, no danger too extreme. And all over the world men adored her.

When the young Jessie left suburban Melbourne and her newspaperman husband in 1927, little did she know that she'd become the first woman to complete an England to Australia flight (with a black silk gown thrown into her small flight bag, just in case), or fly the first air race for women with Amelia Earhart, or that she would disappear over the Florida Straits feared lost forever only to charm her way to a rescue. Nor could she have predicted that five years later she'd find herself at the centre of one of the most notorious and controversial murder trials in United States history. And this all began with something as ridiculously mundane as a pat of butter.

The Fabulous Flying Mrs Miller is a spellbinding story of an extraordinary woman - an international celebrity during the golden age of aviation - and her passionate and spirited life.
Add this item to my basket
Miss Muriel Matters: The Australian Actress Who Became One of London's Most Famous Suffragists

Miss Muriel Matters: The Australian Actress Who Became One of London's Most Famous Suffragists

Robert Wainwright

$32.99
Double Reward Points
More info
In 1909 a young Australian actress made headlines around the world when she took to the sky over the British Houses of Parliament in an air balloon emblazoned with the slogan 'Votes for Women'. When prevailing winds forced her to sail around London instead, she succeeded in dropping leaflets all over the city.

A year earlier, Muriel Matters, who became known as 'that daring Australian girl', had chained herself to an iron grille in the British House of Commons to protest against women being segregated in Parliament, thus becoming the first woman to speak in the House. She was sent to Holloway Prison for her crime, and on her release she added prison reform to her list of campaigns. She went on to become an avid suffragette, touring England in a horse-drawn caravan to promote her cause, and using street art to spread the word.

So why has Muriel Matters remained a relative unknown in both Britain and her home country? In Miss Muriel Matters , bestselling writer Robert Wainwright discovers an extraordinary woman full of intelligence, passion and bravery who fought for women's rights in a world far from equal.
Add this item to my basket
Dear Quentin: Letters of a Governor-General

Dear Quentin: Letters of a Governor-General

Quentin Bryce

$45.00
Double Reward Points
More info
As Australia's first female Governor-General, Quentin Bryce handwrote more than fifty letters each week. She wrote to those she had met and connected with as her role took her from palaces to outback schools, from war zones to memorials, from intimate audiences to lavish ceremonies. She received even more letters from every corner of the country. Generous, witty and always heartfelt, her letter-writing skills were honed at boarding school, from where she would write to her parents every Sunday. Dear Quentin is a rich collection of the letters the Governor-General wrote and received during her six-year term to prime ministers Rudd and Gillard, VC Mark Donaldson, pals Anne Summers and Wendy McCarthy, Indigenous elders, war vets, Girl Guides, grandchildren, as well as the proud owner of a calf called Quentin. Royalties from this book will be donated to Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, making a real difference to child health through world-leading research and disease prevention.
Add this item to my basket
After

After

Nikki Gemmell

$29.99
Double Reward Points
More info
SIGNED COPIES SHIPPING NOW!

Australia's bravest and most honest writer explores the devastating aftermath of her elderly mother's decision to end her own life.

Nikki Gemmell's world changed forever in October 2015 when the body of her elderly mother was found and it became clear she had decided to end her own life. After the immediate shock and devastation came the guilt and the horror, for Nikki, her family, relatives and friends.

No note was left, so the questions that Elayn's death raised were endless. Was the decision an act of independence or the very opposite? Was it a desperate act driven by hopelessness and anger, or was her euthanasia a reasoned act of empowerment?

After is the story of Elayn Gemmell - and the often difficult, prickly relationship between mothers and daughters, and how that changes over time.  As anguished as it truthful, as powerful as it is profound, After is about life, death, elderly parents, mothers and daughters, hurt and healing, and about how little, sometimes, we know the ones we love the most.

A deeply intimate, fiercely beautiful, blazingly bold and important book.

After by Nikki Gemmell at 131 York Street, Sydney
More of the latest new releases
Add this item to my basket
The Amazing Mrs Livesey: The Remarkable Story of Australia's Greatest Imposter

The Amazing Mrs Livesey: The Remarkable Story of Australia's Greatest Imposter

Freda Marnie Nicholls

$22.99
Ethel Livesey was quite a gal.

An attractive young woman from a respectable middle-class family in Manchester, she had over 40 aliases, eight official marriages, four children and five divorces. Her story stretches from industrial England to the French Riviera, from Ireland to New York, Shanghai, New Zealand, the Isle of Man and across Australia. Ethel claimed she was a cotton heiress, wartime nurse, casino hostess, stowaway, artist, opera singer, gambler, spy, close friend of the King, air raid warden, charity queen and even wife of Australian test cricketer Jack Fingleton.

When her career imploded (with the abandonment of her glittering society marriage in post-war Sydney just two hours before the guests were due to arrive), the story of the Amazing Mrs Livesey was blazoned across newspapers around the world. But what was fact and what was fiction?

With a prologue by Ethel Livesey's granddaughter, this extraordinary and constantly surprising story of the woman who was possibly Australia's greatest fraudster is told for the first time in rich and fascinating detail.
Add this item to my basket
A Wife's Heart: The Untold Story of Bertha and Henry Lawson

A Wife's Heart: The Untold Story of Bertha and Henry Lawson

Kerrie Davis

$29.95
Henry Lawson is a revered cultural icon, but despite his literary success he descended into poverty and an early death. While many blamed his wife for his decline, Bertha Lawson alleged in April 1903 that Henry was habitually drunk and cruel, leading her to demand a judicial separation. In A Wife's Heart, Kerrie Davies provides a rare account of this tumultuous relationship from Bertha's perspective, in an era when women's rights were advancing considerably. Reproducing the Lawsons' letters - some of which have never been published - alongside her personal reflections, Davies explores the couple's courtship, marriage and eventual separation, as Bertha struggled to raise their two children as a single parent. A Wife's Heart offers an intimate portrait of the Lawsons' marriage, examined through a modern lens. It is an innovative, imaginative work of biography that reflects on the politics of relationships and the enduring complexities of love.
Add this item to my basket
Rosetta: A Scandalous True Story

Rosetta: A Scandalous True Story

Alexandra Joel

$22.99
Headstrong and beautiful, in 1905 Rosetta escaped her safe Melbourne life, deserting her respectable husband and five-year-old daughter to run away with Zeno the Magnificent, a half-Chinese fortune teller and seducer of souls. The pair reinvented themselves in London, where they beguiled European society and risked everything for a life of glamour and desire. Rosetta said she was American; Zeno claimed to be a brilliant Japanese professor. Together they attracted the patronage of famous writers, inventors and scientists, lords and ladies, dukes and duchesses. Empress Eugenie, the widow of Napoleon III, and Princess Charlotte, sister of Germany's last Kaiser, were among their greatest devotees. Rosetta revelled in a life few women of her time would have dared to embrace, yet all the while she hid her secret shame- the daughter she had left behind. This is the compelling story of Alexandra Joel's quest to uncover the truth about her scandalous great-grandmother, and the shocking century-old secret she would discover at the heart of her family.
Add this item to my basket
Unmasked

Unmasked

Turia Pitt

$34.99
It’s been five years since Turia Pitt made headlines for having barely survived her ordeal in the desert. And in that time, she has become one of the most inspirational women in Australia.

Whether via the numerous media reports, 60 Minutes specials, Women’s Weekly cover stories or her first book, Everything To Live For, we know about the why, how and what of that fateful day in September 2011. We know how she died four times on the operating table and her tortuous road to recovery. We’ve had a glimpse of the love of her boyfriend, Michael, that sustained her, and seen hints of the inner-strength that has made her one of the most admired women in the country. But until now, the true essence of this most remarkable Australian, plus the toll her accident has all taken on her and those around her, have remained a mystery.

How and why does she push herself to ever greater physical and mental limits? What does she see when she looks in the mirror? How does her sudden celebrity (for the most unorthodox of reasons) sit with her? What lessons has she learned in the past five years? And, crucially, how can each and every one of us take those lessons and apply them to our own lives?

More than a simple chronology of events – and against the backdrop of a never-ending series of impressive physical feats, including climbing the Great Wall of China, walking the Kokoda Track and competing in not one but two Ironman competitions – this book unmasks the real Turia: funny, fierce, intelligent, flawed.

With the benefit of hindsight and five years’ worth of getting of wisdom, Turia is only now able to account for how she prevailed where others might have faltered. And for the first time, in this book we get to know the people who – by Turia’s own admission – made her recovery possible.

Unmasked will reveal the woman behind the headlines, and in so doing, uncover the grace, humour and inner-steel that gets Turia Pitt through every day – and which leaves the rest of us watching on in amazement.
Add this item to my basket
Letters of Love: Words from the Heart Penned by Prominent Australians

Letters of Love: Words from the Heart Penned by Prominent Australians

Alannah & Madeline Foundation

$19.99
The Port Arthur massacre was one of the darkest days in Australian history. But the response, an unprecedented outpouring of love and compassion, also brought out the best in Australians. One year after that tragedy, Walter Mikac launched the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, in honour of his two young daughters who died alongside their mother on that terrible day. Since then, the Foundation has helped tens of thousands of vulnerable youth feel safe and secure from violence.

On its 20th anniversary, the Alannah and Madeline Foundation will publish Letters of Love, aimed at sending love back into the community again. More than 60 celebrities and public figures have written letters about love in all its shapes and sizes – from romance and plutonic love, to familial love, devotion to nature, and as a celebration of positivity.

The book begins with a letter 6-year-old Alannah wrote to Walter weeks before the tragedy, and ends with a letter Walter has written to his daughter from a new relationship. It’s a beautiful book that harnesses the best in all of us, and is once more testament to the power of the human spirit.

Contributors include: Rex Hunt, Steve Vizard, Neil Mitchell, Ron Barassi, Bob Brown, Melissa Doyle, Layne Beachley, Gina Liano, Chrissy Swan, Michael Kirby, Danni Minogue, Jimmy Barnes, Cadel Evans, Andrew O’Keefe, Cameron Daddo, Steve Bradbury.
Add this item to my basket
White Butterflies

White Butterflies

Colin McPhedran

$29.99
After the Japanese invasion of Burma in late 1941, 11-year-old Colin McPhedran was forced to flee his homeland on foot, across the steep Patkoi Mountain Ranges, to safety in India. Over a three-month period, Colin, along with his mother, elder brother and sister and thousands of others who died, battled the annual monsoon rains, starvation, disease and exhaustion, in an attempt to cover the 500-kilometre journey across the border. This autobiography recalls McPhedran's pre-war childhood as part of a large Anglo-Burmese family, the Japanese invasion and his extraordinary trek to freedom. This new edition seeks to answer key questions asked by those readers who wrote in their hundreds to Colin, who passed away in 2010, asking 'What happened afterwards?' It also reveals new information about the man who found and rescued Colin when he was at death's door on the jungle refugee trail to India.
Add this item to my basket
When Hell Freezes Over: ICE. Addiction. Family. Recovery

When Hell Freezes Over: ICE. Addiction. Family. Recovery

Jackson Oppy ,  Tom Elliott

$24.95
The spread of crystal methamphetamine use sees more and more families face a horrifying reality - their child or spouse or parent is an addict. Their world is a hell where Ice rules and it is far from OK. Ice took families, society and the drug-addiction treatment sector by surprise. Young users often bypassed alcohol, 'soft' and party drug use, so the first mind-altering substance they try is ice, the world's strongest stimulant. A new kind of mature addict emerged, a drug-using individual who seemed to manage to navigate life normally before, and then suddenly abandoned everything. People become withered, psychotic, mumbling ghosts. The speed of their journey broke all previous records. Their unmanageability became legendary. The core of this book is not the drug, but the people: the addict who desperately needs help, and the people around the addict who need clear and practical information about the solution. With the right treatment, addicts do recover.
Add this item to my basket
Everything to Live for: The Inspirational Story of Turia Pitt

Everything to Live for: The Inspirational Story of Turia Pitt

Turia Pitt ,  Libby Harkness

$24.99
Everything to Live For is the story of one young woman's survival against extraordinary odds, a testament to the human spirit.

In September 2011, Turia Pitt, a beautiful 25-year-old mining engineer working her dream job in the far north of Western Australia, entered an ultra-marathon race that would change her life forever. Trapped by a fire in a gorge in the remote Kimberly region, Turia and five other competitors had nowhere to run. Turia escaped with catastrophic burns to 65 per cent of her body.

With too little unburned skin left for skin grafts, Turia was put in an induced coma in the Burns Unit at Sydney's Concord Hospital while her body fought life-threatening infections and her surgeons imported skin from California. She lost the fingers on her right hand and her fingers on her left are partially fused together. She needed a new nose. There have been numerous operation, yet there are many more to come.

While the story of Turia's survival involves many people - other race competitors, her rescuers, medical professionals - at its core is the strong will of Turia herself as she continues the long rehabilitation process with the loving support of her partner, Michael Hoskin, and that of their families in their New South Wales south coast hometown of Ulladulla, where the local community has rallied, raising funds to help with huge medical bills.

Everything to Live For is also a love story. Michael, Turia's handsome teenage crush who became the love of her life, now cares for her as they plan a new life together; he is there to encourage Turia in her determination to move forward in an outwardly different body.

The real tragedy of this story is that it should never have happened - because the race should never have happened.

Despite facing a future with multiple challenges, Turia is optimistic. She is driving again and studying for her Master's degree. She is walking in marathons and would one day like to run again. Above all, she wants her story to make a difference- her mission is to make skin a more prominent organ in the repertoire of donated organs.

It is a miracle Turia lived when she was expected to die. But Turia was not ready to die - she had too much to live for.
Add this item to my basket
My Outback Life: Adventures in the Gulf Country

My Outback Life: Adventures in the Gulf Country

Toni Tapp Coutts

$32.99
Having grown up on the massive Killarney cattle station near Katherine, NT, Toni Tapp Coutts was well prepared when her husband, Shaun, took a job at McArthur River Station in the Gulf Country, 600 kilometres away near the Queensland border. Toni became cook, counsellor, housekeeper and nurse to the host of people who lived on McArthur River and the constant stream of visitors. She made firm friends, created the Heartbreak Bush Ball and started riding campdraft in rodeos all over the Territory, becoming one of the NT's top riders. In the midst of this busy life she raised three children and saw them through challenges; she dealt with snakes in her washing basket; she kept in touch with her large, sprawling Tapp family, and she fell deeply in love with the Gulf Country. Filled with the warmth and humour readers will remember from A SUNBURNT CHILDHOOD, this next chapter in Toni's life is both an adventure and a heartwarming memoir, and will introduce readers to a part of Australia few have experienced.
Add this item to my basket
Father Bob: The Larrikin Priest

Father Bob: The Larrikin Priest

Anne Gracie ,  Sue Williams

$24.99
This is the life story of Father Bob Maguire – a rare behind-the-scenes look at the much-loved 'people's priest'.

This is the life story of Father Bob Maguire - a rare behind-the-scenes look at the much-loved 'people's priest'. The enigmatic champion of the down-and-out was shaped by a lonely childhood in poor circumstances, an early priesthood that collided with the upheaval of Vatican 11 and working with the army during the Vietnam War. This is a lively portrait of the man behind the resilient social activist and popular media performer who refuses to be defeated by enforced retirement from the parish over which he presided for nearly forty years.

Bob Maguire: 'Some people have called me a maverick or a larrikin or a renegade, or they say I'm plain mad... People will have to decide for themselves. But just one thing: Don't ever make me a saint. Because that is something I'm most definitely not.'
Add this item to my basket
My Way

My Way

Moana Hope

$27.99
A high-flying athlete who is grounded by remarkable selflessness, Moana Hope is an inspiration for women and girls everywhere. My Way is her story.

Moana Hope is one of thirteen children. No fan of dolls or dresses, footy has always been her passion, and she would spend hours playing kick-to-kick with her dad and brothers at the local park. When her father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Moana cared for him until his death four years later. Footy and cricket provided an escape from the demands of domestic life, and she made state and national teams for both sports. She also began to explore her Maori heritage, getting tattoos that represented the dearest people in her life.

But as women’s football became more popular, being good at the game wasn’t enough;players started being pressured about the way they looked. Moana refused to grow her hair or cover her tatts, and for the first time in her life felt sidelined by the game. But later, inspired by a women's exhibition game, she realised what she was missing and returned with gusto to the game she loved. As a powerful full-forward who can thrill crowds by taking big marks and kicking spectacular goals, Moana was signed by Collingwood as one of its two marquee players for the inaugural AFL Women's competition in 2017.

A high-flying athlete who is grounded by remarkable selflessness, Moana Hope is an inspiration for women and girls everywhere. My Way is her story.
Add this item to my basket
The Other Mother: A Tale of Love, Nits and Blended Families

The Other Mother: A Tale of Love, Nits and Blended Families

Kelly Chandler

$29.99
For Kelly, meeting the right guy was pretty straightforward – becoming a ‘spare mum’ to his two sons was more daunting. It had taken long enough to get on with her own stepmum, and now she suddenly found herself sharing responsibility for two mini-humans. Her party days gave way to early starts, jokes about farts, games of hide-and seek, and delicate negotiations with her partner’s ex and a cast of many. When Kelly got pregnant, stitching together the patchwork quilt of their new tribe got even trickier.

In this brilliantly funny, deeply insightful and moving memoir, Kelly tells of how her whole world changed when she became a stepdaughter, how it changed again when she became a stepmum, and how blended families rock her world.
Add this item to my basket
Body Lengths

Body Lengths

Leisel Jones

$22.99
Body Lengths is the inspiring story of an Australian sporting hero, told with humour, optimism and style.

'From the moment I am born, I am like no-one else around me. I am a fish out of water. Even in the pool.' Leisel Jones is rightly regarded as one of the greatest breaststrokers ever. At just fifteen, she won two silver medals at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000; she went on to win gold at Athens and Beijing, and at London 2012 became the first Australian swimmer to compete at four Olympics.

For the first time, Leisel candidly describes what it's like to be thrust into the limelight so young. She reveals the constant pressure she was under – from coaches, from the media and from herself – to be perfect. Despite the highs of her swimming stardom, she suffered depression, and at one time planned to take her own life. In London, criticised in the media for her weight, and appalled by the bulling and dysfunction in the Australian swim team, Leisel nevertheless handled herself with great composure. She has emerged with maturity and good humour, having finally learnt how to be herself and live with confidence.

Body Lengths is the inspiring story of an Australian sporting hero, told with humour, optimism and style.
Add this item to my basket
Life as I Know it

Life as I Know it

Michelle Payne

$24.99
In Life As I Know It , Michelle Payne tells her deeply moving story. It will lift your spirits, stir your heart and give you courage. Michelle was six months old, the youngest of eleven children, when the family was hit with the tragic death of their mother, Mary. Their father, Paddy, a renowned horseman, raised his children alone. As a family, they all took on the daily demands of racehorses and a dairy farm as well as school and work. Family meant everything.

Michelle was put on a horse aged four. At five years old her dream was to win the Melbourne Cup. At thirty she rode into history as the first female jockey to win the Cup on the outsider, Prince of Penzance. Her strapper was her brother, Stevie. So when she declared that anyone who said women couldn't compete with men in the racing industry could 'get stuffed', the nation stood up and cheered. It was a moment that inspired everyone who dreams of beating the odds. Michelle’s hallmark grit and determination were needed in the year after her historic win. She took out her jockey/trainer licence while continuing the punishing regime of being a jockey.

But a dramatic fall resulting in a split pancreas meant her year was filled with more rehab and reflection than rides.
Add this item to my basket
           
Your cart does not contain any items.