Catherine

Ailsa McLeary, Tony Dingle
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Catherine
Catherine

Subjects

History

Published

11 October 1994

ISBN

9780522848366

Weight

250g

Size

200mm x 150mm

Subjects

History

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

Catherine

Ailsa McLeary, Tony Dingle
This simple and moving story brings us into direct contact with Catherine Currie on an uncleared pioneer selection in the forests of west Gippsland in the 1870s.
Catherine Currie began writing her diary at Ballan in 1873. Soon afterwards, she left with her husband and young children to take up a selection deep in the forests of west Gippsland.
Catherine's life was one of unrelenting daily work, which she recorded faithfully in the diary. As the years wore on and her early pioneering optimism turned to disillusionment and sometimes despair, it also became a private confessional.
This beautifully written and engrossing work uses parallel narratives to tell Catherine's story. Five skilfully written chapters catch the cadences of Catherine's diary, interweaving direct quotes with discreet comment and explanation. Between these chapters runs a twentieth century voice, offering thoughtful and lucid reflections on themes such as 'madness' and 'landscape', and illuminating Catherine's life for modern readers through the ideas of historians and theorists such as Michel Foucault and Paul Carter.
Catherine is first and foremost a simple and moving…
Catherine Currie began writing her diary at Ballan in 1873. Soon afterwards, she left with her husband and young children to take up a selection deep in the forests of west Gippsland.
Catherine's life was one of unrelenting daily work, which she recorded faithfully in the diary. As the years wore on and her early pioneering optimism turned to disillusionment and sometimes despair, it also became a private confessional.
This beautifully written and engrossing work uses parallel narratives to tell Catherine's story. Five skilfully written chapters catch the cadences of Catherine's diary, interweaving direct quotes with discreet comment and explanation. Between these chapters runs a twentieth century voice, offering thoughtful and lucid reflections on themes such as 'madness' and 'landscape', and illuminating Catherine's life for modern readers through the ideas of historians and theorists such as Michel Foucault and Paul Carter.
Catherine is first and foremost a simple and moving story, bringing the reader into direct, vivid and personal contact with Catherine Currie. More subtly, it allows readers to glimpse those fine lines which separate life and text, chance and necessity, sanity and madness.
A superb and moving study in both autobiography and biography, Catherine will give great pleasure to those many readers who delight in the subtlety of plain English.

About the author

Ailsa McLeary was a tutor in the Department of Economic History at Monash University when she was seconded as an editor of a volume of the Bicentennial History of Australia, Australians 1888. She wrote two chapters for the book, and edited and wrote for the journal connected with the project. Moving to the Department of History at Monash, she edited the Monash 'Publications in History' Series, contributing the volume of essays Time and Place: Essays on Modern Culture. She now teaches at RMIT in the Faculty of Art, Design and Communication.

About Ailsa McLeary

Tony Dingle teaches Economic History at Monash University. He has researched and published extensively in Australian and British history and his books include Settling, volume 2 of The Victorians (1984); Aboriginal Economy: Patterns of Experience (1988); and Vital Connections: Melbourne and its Board of Works (1991).

About Tony Dingle

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