What has kept me going for more than a decade of research? The answer’s simple: there’s always something new to be discovered, something that’s been hidden nearly two hundred years and as each new piece of information adds to the story, everything becomes more clear.
Since researchers and biographers first became interested in finding out more about the Molloys, we’ve entered the digital age and as each year passes more and more old documents become available via the Internet. Even when I thought I’d found everything there was to discover, more kept coming to the surface. It’s possible that some findings may be proven incorrect by future research and new information will come to light so it’s important to continue the work and to share as much as possible.
Here are just a few research moments from the last eleven years.

Botanical collectors in the southwest

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 […]

Research? Never give up.

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 […]

Sharing stories

Leaving home (south of Margaret River WA) before dawn during the biggest storm of the year so far was ‘interesting’ and it was a six-hour drive to the small country town of York but I’m so glad I was able to make that journey to join the River Conservation Society on a wild and wintery […]

Georgiana Molloy & the Language of Flowers

‘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 […]

Molloy & Mangles

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 woman’s story: Kitty Ludlow

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  […]

New research: an astronomical evening

  ‘Astronomy, universally acknowledged the most sublime and interesting of those sciences which admit of popular illustration, is doubly valuable for its powerful influence and effect in the general improvement of the human mind.’ Horace Wellbeloved on Mr Walker’s Astronomical lecture 1826 Since my biography of Georgiana Molloy’s life was published, I’ve been working nearly […]

On this day

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 […]

The botanical desiderata of Georgiana Molloy

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 […]

In Crosby Lodge

As the weather warms up quickly here in the region where Georgiana spent her last three decades, I’m remembering a visit we made to her childhood home at this time of year.  In the far north of England, not far from the border with Scotland, the village of Crosby-on Eden is in winter’s grip during December. The […]