A Family Romance

John Rickard
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A Family Romance

Subjects

History

Published

8 September 2015

ISBN

9780522865752

Ebook File Size

16.7MB

Subjects

History

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

A Family Romance

John Rickard
An intriguing study of Australia's first elected Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin, focusing on his family background and home life.
A Family Romance is the story of the family of Alfred Deakin, Australia's first elected Prime Minister. In this intriguing book, John Rickard explores the complex web of relationships between Alfred, his wife Pattie, and his sister Catherine.
The Deakin 'family romance' is permeated by the influence of spiritualism which, in extraordinary circumstances, brought Alfred and Pattie together, and which was to haunt their marriage.
It is a tale which, with its Gothic overtones, has the character of a novel, but which, in its telling, poses questions about the nature of biography. How can we bring to life the emotional world inhabited by such a family—or must that territory be conceded to the novelist?
John Rickard beautifully evokes the life of a middle-class Australian family at the turn of the century, and gives us the untold story behind the public achievements of great man.
A Family Romance is the story of the family of Alfred Deakin, Australia's first elected Prime Minister. In this intriguing book, John Rickard explores the complex web of relationships between Alfred, his wife Pattie, and his sister Catherine.
The Deakin 'family romance' is permeated by the influence of spiritualism which, in extraordinary circumstances, brought Alfred and Pattie together, and which was to haunt their marriage.
It is a tale which, with its Gothic overtones, has the character of a novel, but which, in its telling, poses questions about the nature of biography. How can we bring to life the emotional world inhabited by such a family—or must that territory be conceded to the novelist?
John Rickard beautifully evokes the life of a middle-class Australian family at the turn of the century, and gives us the untold story behind the public achievements of great man.

John Rickard

John Rickard is Professor of Australian Studies at Monash University. He is the author of H. B. Higgins: The Rebel as Judge, The Age Non-fiction Book of the Year for 1984, Australia: A Cultural History, Packaging the Past?: Public Histories and A Family Romance: The Deakins at Home.

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