“…and she therefore humbly begs Your Honor to exercise your kindness towards herself and her family by placing her afflicted husband in the Lunatic Asylum near Melbourne. And your petitioner will ever feel the greatest gratitude.”
Collingwood, 16th November 1848.
I feel like I’ve made new friends, been on a ship, been forced to the other side of the world and much much more!!
I love the characters, love how it moves between their stories and is written so eloquently. I especially love the smells!!!
If I had more time on my hands I would’ve finished it in one weekend.. it’s amazing!!
Explains so much about the English/ Irish culture and stratification of society at that time too and feels so authentic that it leads organically into an explanation of the formulation of Australian culture.
The touches of history, distances, images, newspaper cuttings really bring the story to life and make you invest even more.
I managed to get it written, and I hope I have done him justice:
James put the play he’d been trying to read on the games table Elizabeth had bought from a deceased estate in Hobart Town, he used the arms on the giltwood chair she had ordered from London to push himself upright, and announced he was going to lay down and rest until supper. Elizabeth watched as he climbed the stairs, almost laboriously, almost as if he was taking as long as possible to reach his destination. She thought his behaviour was odd, but dismissed her concerns as an overreaction to his age, he was after all still working the farm.
On hearing the report of a pistol, the mother and daughter hurried to the stairs; Young Elizabeth forgot how sick she felt, picked up her skirts and took the steps two at a time. The sight of her father’s mutilated body, the hole where the bullet had entered his chest, the blood gushing from the wound and oozing down the edges of the bed to the floor, was more than a sheltered, protected child could suffer; she fainted just as her mother rushed in to the room.