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.

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 […]

Digging

I’ve had the great pleasure of being involved in a different kind of ‘digging’ in the last few days, not research from old documents but real digging in the ground. Dr Shane Burke from the University of Notre Dame in Perth WA has hoped for some years to do an archaeological dig in Augusta on […]

A letter from Georgiana

I’ve escaped from the project that’s kept me busy for the last eighteen months and now it’s time to get back to the ‘to-do’ list from last year. It’s been months since I said I’d post some transcriptions so apologies for rather a long delay! In 1831, Georgiana wrote to her good friend, the elderly Mrs […]

Flowers and finds

It’s wildflower season in WA’s southwest and it’s been impossible not to think of Georgiana Molloy in the last few weeks as we’ve watched the bush blooming. Winter’s long wet tail has been good for so many of the native plants and this has to be one of the most spectacular displays for years. We […]

The Molloy diaries online

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 […]