Monday, 12 November 2018

Notes from Eve Abbey • November 2018

 We're 50 this year!

Rick Morton, journalist on The Australianhas written a searing autobiography about his childhood on an enormous pastoral station in far-west Queensland. Not easy reading but leavened by some very amusing insights.

His violent and tyrannical grandfather passed on his genes throughout the family. Morton now says he is a “middle-class man in a poor boy’s body”. If you want to understand what it is like to be poor in this country read this. It is called One Hundred Years of Dirt.

It is 250 years since Captain Cook set sail from England to enter the Pacific. There is a book which is a companion piece to a TV programme on Foxtel I think. It is called The Pacific in the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill and written by Meaghan Wilson Anastasios.

As I was born in New Zealand and went to a country school with many Maori friends I especially enjoyed the first section. I even have a copy of Cook’s famous map of New Zealand. I might put it up in the shop. It is a very readable book with informative remarks from interested people especially displayed throughout the text as well as excellent colour photographs.

There is a new book from Clare Wright who wrote The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka about the women involved in that famous episode. This new, much larger, book is called You Daughters of Freedom: The Australians Who Won The Vote and Inspired the World. Clare points out that World War I overshadowed the fame of Australia as a progressive reformist nation.

This new book is about the well-travelled activists such as Vida Goldstein, Nellie Martel, Dora Montefiore, Muriel Matters and Dora Meeson-Coates (who painted the famed banner carried in the British Suffragettes’ enormous marches in 1908 and 1911). These Australian women were amongst the leaders in the International movement for votes for women.

Both books are very readable. Here is an historian who can tell a good story!

Clare Wright

Robyn Williams, of ABC Radio's The Science Show fame, has just written his autobiography and given it the title Turmoil: Letters from the Brink. Like many of us in the later stages of interesting lives he wonders where the world is heading.

Many of his tales fall into line with the recent upheaval at ABC where management by email or cartoon seemed to have gained the upperhand. He enthusiastically sings the praises of young scientists in Australia and thinks he has had a very lucky life.

You will enjoy, as I did, some stories about famous scientists. The Science Show is on Radio National on Saturday at noon and repeated on Wednesday. Don’t miss it. Thank you Robyn and friends.

Turmoil: Letters from the Brink by Robyn Williams

I hope you pick up a copy of Abbey’s Christmas catalogue for 2018 which is in-store now. Inside the front cover there is a nice photograph of Abbey’s when we were in the Queen Victoria Building in George Street. Do you remember that comfortable shop? I think we have customers today who came along there with their parents. That was fifty years ago!

Abbey's on George Street in the QVB

Abbey's Summer Reading 2018 Catalogue

Keep well,

Since 1968 ~ Abbey's 131 York Street Sydney ~ An Aladdin's cave for readers

Abbey's ~ An Aladdin's cave for readers

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