A woman's bungled act of kindness sparks a chain of events that reverberates through the generations uncovering secrets, lies and the biggest scientific controversy of the nineteenth century, the classification of the platypus.
Two women, a century apart, are drawn into a mystery surrounding the biggest scientific controversy of the nineteenth century, the classification of the platypus.
1808 Agnes Banks, NSW Rose Winton wants nothing more than to work with her father, eminent naturalist Charles Winton, on his groundbreaking study of the platypus. Not only does she love him with all her heart, but the discoveries they have made could turn the scientific world on its head. When Charles is unable to make the long sea journey to present his findings to the prestigious Royal Society in England, Rose must venture forth in his stead. What she discovers there will change the lives of future generations.
1908 Sydney, NSW Tamsin Alleyn has been given a mission: travel to the Hunter Valley and retrieve an old sketchbook of debateable value, gifted to the Mitchell Library by a recluse. But when she gets there, she finds there is more to the book than meets the eye, and more than one interested party. Shaw Everdene, a young antiquarian bookseller and lawyer, seems to have his own agenda when it comes to the book but Tamsin decides to work with him to try and discover the book's true provenance. The deeper they delve, the more intricate the mystery becomes.
As the lives of two women a century apart converge, discoveries rise up from the past and reach into the future, with irrevocable consequences...
Written by a superb novelist of contemporary manners, The Women in Black is a fairytale which illuminates the extraordinariness of ordinary lives.
The women in black are run off their feet, what with the Christmas rush and the summer sales that follow. But it's Sydney in the 1950s, and there's still just enough time left on a hot and frantic day to dream and scheme...
By the time the last marked-down frock has been sold, most of the staff of the Ladies' Cocktail section at F. G. Goode's have been launched into slightly different careers.
With the lightest touch and the most tender of comic instincts, Madeleine St John conjures a vanished summer of innocence. The Women in Black is a great novel, a lost Australian classic.
A compulsively readable story of passion, adventure and a woman's quest for independence set against the colourful backdrop of 19th century Bendigo and the goldfields of Ballarat.
1854, Ballarat, Victoria When Nell Amberton's husband is shot dead by a bushranger, there are few who grieve his passing, and Nell least of all. How could she miss the monster who had abused her from the day they wed - the man who had already killed his innocent first wife? But his death triggers a chain of events that seem to revolve around the handsome bushranger who murdered him - a man to whom Nell, against her better judgement, is drawn.
But Nell has far more than a mysterious stranger to worry about. With a mess of complications around her late husband's will, a vicious scoundrel of a father trying to sell her off in matrimony, and angry relatives pursuing her for her husband's gold, she is more concerned with trying to ensure her safety and that of her friend, goldfields laundry woman Flora, than dealing with the kind of feelings that led her astray so catastrophically before.
After the violence on the goldfields, Nell's fate also hangs in the balance. It seems that, after all, she might need to do the one thing she has avoided at all costs ... ask for the help of a man.
'With gentle touches of humour, a big dollop of romance, a sprinkle of history, a dusting of mystery and a drop of magic to froth up the tale, you do not want to miss Someone Like You.' Mrs B's Book Reviews
It had been two long years since Lincoln Callahan had stood in front of the gates to Stringybark Creek. He was in the army then - a lifetime ago. Linc had always been the unsettled Callahan, looking for danger, the one who couldn't wait to leave the family farm.
Linc's little brother, Griffin, was the dependable son, the one who stayed at home, the one who did the right things. And, now, the one who has feelings for rebellious city girl, Cash Sullivan.
When Linc locks eyes with Cash at a family dinner, their swift attraction floors him. But Cash is his brother's girlfriend... what is he thinking?
As Linc, Griff and Cash form an uneasy triangle, each of them have personal demons to face before they can open their hearts
'In Australia there is always the refuge of a regular booze-up with the boys. Suspicion of one's peers is thus temporarily dissolved in plenty of alcohol - Australia's national solvent.' Ronald Conway, Author and psychologist, 1976
Alcohol has played a major, quite disproportionate, role in the history of our nation since 1769 and Jim finds that fascinating. He also finds it quite informative when we come to analyse and understand our 'national character', our social history and accepted cultural attitudes over those 250 years.
Researching and retelling the alcohol related history of Cook's voyages, the First Fleet, the Rum Rebellion, the mutiny of the 99th Regiment, the soldiers riot of 1916 and the effects of six o clock closing has been an enlightening exercise for Jim.
Exploring the impact on our alcoholic history by characters like James Cook, Joseph Banks, John MacArthur, James Squire, William Bligh, Lachlan Macquarie, Peter Degraves and others has made him develop a true admiration for some of them, a grudging admiration for others and an understanding of just how wicked and self-serving some of our founding fathers were.
Some of the stories in this collection celebrate the social gift of alcohol. Riotous evenings of complete surrender to Bacchus, or business deals sealed with booze, grave social occasions subverted by drink - and Henry Lawson's apology and justification for alcoholism.
Other stories are salutary tales that deal with the consequences of getting 'roaring drunk': the hangovers, sufferings and recriminations of the regular binge drinker, the physical and psychological results of drinking - the harsh realities. And still others represent the darker side of drinking and alcoholism; some are accounts of people finally facing some harsh alcoholic reality - either private or social.
So, here is a collection of history, anecdotes, stories, verse and literature about Australian drinking. Jim hopes it is a collection that is amusing, informative, entertaining and thought-provoking and that it will neither drive you to drink nor turn you away from the pleasures of alcohol in moderation.