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A biography of Georgiana McCrae, painter, diarist, pioneer
Award-winning biography of Georgiana Huntly McCrae, illegitimate daughter of a Scottish duke, professional portrait painter in 1820s Edinburgh, and settler's wife in early Melbourne.
After a childhood among artists, French émigrés and English radicals in Regency London, Georgiana lived as a young woman at her father's castle in the Highlands.
A gifted portraitist, professionally trained in London, she earned her own living in Edinburgh before making the choice between marriage and a career. After marrying Andrew McCrae in 1830 she followed her husband in his erratic progress from Edinburgh to London and then to Port Phillip, where he was successively lawyer, squatter and goldfields magistrate. The varied fortunes of the McCraes are recounted in a story whose tragic elements are counter-balanced by the strength of mind, the lively wit and creativity of Georgiana.
By allowing Georgiana's own voice to be heard through her letters and journals Brenda Niall has brought a legendary colonial figure into authentic vibrant life.
About the author
One of Australia's best-known biographers, Brenda Niall has won several major literary awards. Her books include Martin Boyd: A Life (1988), Georgiana: A Biography of Georgiana McCrae (1994), Seven Little Billabongs: the World of Ethel Turner and Mary Grant Bruce and Australia Through the Looking-Glass: Children's Fiction 1830-1980.