‘Loch Long, the Gareloch, the Holy Loch & the Clyde were all seen at the same moment & from them the mountains receded into a deep purple mist burnished at the summits with deep golden clouds from the Sun which had sunk never more to rise on that night.’ A year ago, when I […]
Snapshots from the Georgiana trail
Finding the details in a story that stretches across Europe and from Scotland to Western Australia has meant doing much of the research remotely, using the Internet and accessing digital files sent by email. Seeing something new on screen is exciting but by far the most wonderful times have been visits to explore the places in John and Georgiana Molloys’ lives.
Here are some photographic memories of our travels in Cumbria, Scotland, London, Warwickshire and Western Australia.
‘ …but the scenery, who can describe. I have it in my mind & there it will always rest’ Loch Long, Scotland The first signs of Spring are appearing in the bush, which means many of the native wildflowers of southwest WA are beginning to put on new growth. There’s a vibrant glow […]
“Easy over the cobbles!” I hear that phrase in my memory, in mother’s voice, always said in jest to my father as we set off home in the car from whatever family outing we’d been on. “Home, James, and don’t spare the horses!” That was another. Even as a child, I understood the shared social […]
Everything happens somewhere. As a writer, I see the events I’m describing as they unfold and all I have to do is find the right words to help a reader see what I see. It’s unsurprising that the places I view in my imagination are sometimes the same places I’ve visited myself, often years earlier. […]
I’ve written before about the dramatic changes in Georgiana Molloy’s life when she arrived in the Swan River Colony but the research I’ve been doing this week has made me think about another time of great contrast she had already experienced, a decade earlier. (An extract from one of the documents I’ve been reading is […]
It’s happened again. As if I needed another reminder of the lesson I keep learning: never, ever give up on finding the elusive answer to a research question. It must be eight years since I first discovered the move that Georgiana’s parents made with their young family just before they went to live in newly […]
The story of Mildred Kitty Ludlow is a sad one but it’s not so different from that of many other female servants during the early colonial settlement of Western Australia. Georgiana Molloy’s diaries and letters tell us about the last years of Kitty’s life and reveal some of Georgiana’s own personal views and values. I […]
Living in Western Australia’s far southwest means that we are always aware of the changes in season. Like Georgiana, I grew up in Britain and whenever I think about what she was doing at different times of year, I know that she, too, would always have thought about the differences between the climate here and […]
It’s a year since my new biography of Georgiana Molloy was published by Pan Macmillan in Australia and New Zealand (May 2016) so it’s probably time to move on but history just will NOT let go of me. It was exciting to discover so much that was new in the story of Georgiana’s life but […]
A hundred and eighty-seven years ago today, Captain and Mrs Molloy arrived here in Australia’s far southwest aboard the Emily Taylor, part of a small group of settlers from Britain. A few days later, Georgiana moved into a tent on the riverbank, unaware that the baby she was expecting, her first, was due to arrive […]