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 […]
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.
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 […]
This sketch, archived among the papers of John Molloy, Georgiana’s husband who was the Government resident in Augusta and Busselton, had always puzzled me. There’s not much doubt that it’s a representation of Napoleon Bonaparte. You can read about my first thoughts here. It took a long time but earlier this year I got much […]
“Often have I laid in bed on board and thought of you all with my eyes shut and could, for the moment, fancy myself at Rosneath.” Georgiana Molloy 1829 When I was at school I was taught that history was a fixed thing, an accumulation of dates and facts that could be learned and […]
I often talk about combining empathy and imagination with factual evidence when writing about history because that’s what works for me. The story of an individual becomes real when I can picture them clearly going about the everyday tasks in life. That’s just imagination but empathy adds something extra, the ingredient that allows a writer […]
On 6th June 1830 Georgiana collected some ‘little blue flowers. and placed them in her baby’s coffin before she nailed down the lid. She wrote later that there was very little else in flower because it was the beginning of winter. A few weeks ago Mike and I went to Augusta with botanist Dr Alex […]
The research journey of discovering more about Georgiana Molloy and her life has been a long one – more than a decade – and it continues now, even after the publication of the new Picador edition of my book. I think that’s what it is about research that fascinates and motivates and keeps you going […]
This is an 1829 George IV farthing. Prince George acted as Regent during the mental illness of his father, King George III, giving the name ‘Regency’ to a distinctive period of English design in clothing and architecture based on his lavish tastes. In 1821, Georgiana was at boarding school in London when the coronation of […]
Georgiana Molloy’s face appears on many web pages and in many books and documents, the image usually taken from photographs of the only known surviving portrait of her as an adult. That 1829 painting feels almost familiar and yet most people I talk to are not aware that the original is a miniature. It can […]