WORK IN PROGRESS: EMPTY BEDS
One respected citizen in 1872, who no doubt didn’t expect to die at forty-two, James Darby, left his pregnant wife with five children eleven and under, and debts of eight hundred and eighty seven pounds.
The other unexpected death in 1873 of James Allan, forty-three, left another pregnant widow with eight children, but at least she had a viable farm to support the family.
The offspring of these two men and their widows forged dynasties which lurched into the 21st century. Some family members made indelible and lasting impressions on society, and others left legacies recognised well into the next century.
The story of the Allan and Darby families spans the Victorian Gold Rush through to the First World War, and is encapsulated through the eyes of those who lived it.
My short story about James Allan’s death as told by his wife Mary Allan, is in the latest edition of Swinburne’s journal “Backstory”. Bit excited
Empty Beds is also featured in the Kyabram Writers’ Group International Women’s Day 2021 publication: Celebrating Women. https://kyabramtownhall.com.au/kth-writers-group/
First Prize – City of Melton Libraries Short Story Competition – 2019 IRISH GIRLS CAN WEAVE – it is a chapter in the prequel The Conviction of Hope. (Sign up for the newsletter to read the short story.)
No Room for Regret – Winner – CHILL WITH A BOOK Readers’ Award – April 2018
Love, Lies, and Legacies – Winner – CHILL WITH A BOOK Readers’ Award – May 2019