‘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 […]
Bernice Barry’s new biography of Georgiana Molloy was published in March 2015. ‘Georgiana Molloy, the mind that shines’ is widely available in bookstores and other outlets in Western Australia as well as selected suppliers in other states.
In 1829, estranged from her family and living in an isolated Scottish village, Georgiana Kennedy made a sudden decision to marry Captain John Molloy of the Rifle Brigade, a handsome hero with a mysterious past. They emigrated immediately to the remote southwest of Western Australia with the first small group of European settlers, and experienced great hardship in the fledgling colonies of Augusta and Busselton. In times of personal tragedy and privation, botany was Georgiana Molloy’s salvation. She was self-taught and became the first internationally successful female botanist in WA. Her collections of the indigenous flora of the southwest include type specimens, archived today in the world’s leading herbaria.
Georgiana’s story began twenty-four years before she sailed for Perth, in the wild borders between England and Scotland. The Mind that Shines draws on primary sources and fresh evidence to explore previously undisclosed influences that shaped Georgiana’s strong values and attitudes, shedding new light on her writing, and answers questions asked for a hundred and fifty years about John Molloy’s complete history and his influence on her life. This minutely researched biography covers some of the most dramatic scenery, geographical and historical, of two centuries in England, Scotland, Spain and Australia, exposing a tale of love, drama, adventure and resilience.
The author’s personal insights into her ten years of research into Georgiana Molloy’s life are threaded through the historical narrative, revealing a quest that anyone interested in genealogy will respond to: the excitement of discovering our origins and the significance of those revelations on our lives.
There are so many resources available in our wonderful archives, museums and libraries and, increasingly, many of them are also available online as digital images. Documents I’ve found using the Internet have been invaluable over the years but there’s really nothing that beats the pleasure of holding the real thing in your hand – whether […]
‘The language of flowers has recently attracted so much attention, that an acquaintance with it seems to be deemed, if not an essential part of a polite education, at least a graceful and elegant accomplishment.’ Flora’s Lexicon: an Interpretation of the Language and Sentiment of Flowers 1839 That was written in 1839, but interest […]
It’s a bit late for an update on the last year’s work but I really have been busy on other writerly things – not to mention the rolling wave of visitors who all come in January to escape the European winter. First, very good news, a new book being published later this year that will […]
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 […]
DID YOU KNOW…? You can view every page of the Molloy diaries on the website of the JS Battye Library in Perth WA. It’s free. You don’t need to be a member. You can sit at home and view wonderful high-resolution images of all 168 handwritten pages. The latest upgrade allows you to ‘turn’ the […]
My first and strongest motivation in writing a book about the life of Georgiana Molloy was to share as widely as possible the full story and the true facts. Selling so many copies, so quickly, since the book was published in March was a wonderful surprise and hearing from so many readers who’ve enjoyed the […]
As part of Writing WA’s ‘Cover to Cover’ series, I enjoyed a discussion with Meri Fatin about Georgiana and John Molloy, the research that kept me hooked for so long and the process of writing and publishing the book. The programme is currently being aired several times on the Westlink TV channel (602) and is […]
Another great review this week. Thank you to the National Trust (Australia) and to reviewer Dr Robyn Taylor (NT quarterly magazine, ‘Trust News’ August 2015). ‘This beautifully illustrated book is a joy to read’. It ‘has a different approach’ that ‘brings psychological depth to the main characters and greater poignancy’. And thank you to the […]
A big thank you to the Royal Western Australian Historical Society and to Gillian Lilleyman for her review of ‘Georgiana Molloy: the mind that shines’ in ‘History West’, August 2015, which describes the book as ‘an even closer study of Georgiana and ‘a sensitive reappraisal’ that ‘will assure this fascinating pioneer heroine a new generation […]