'Julia Sorell was a colonial belle from Tasmania, vivacious and warm-hearted. Her marriage to Tom Arnold in 1850 propelled her into one of the most renowned families in England and into a circle that included Lewis Carroll and George Eliot. Her eldest daughter became a bestselling novelist, while her grandchildren included the writer Aldous Huxley and the evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley. With these family connections, Julia is a presence in many documented and famous lives, but she is a mostly silent presence.
'What began as a marriage born of desire soon turned into a relationship riven by discord. Tom’s sudden decision to become a Catholic and Julia’s refusal to convert with him plunged their lives into a crisis wherein their great love for each other would be pitted against their profoundly different understandings of marriage and religion. It was a conflict that would play out over three decades in a time when science challenged religion, when democracy challenged aristocracy, when women began to challenge men. It was a conflict that would not only shape their own lives and that of their children, but also touch the lives of all those who came into contact with them.
'Told with the pace, depth, and psychological richness of a great novel, An Unconventional Wife is a riveting biography that shines a shaft of light on a hidden but captivating life.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'In 1908 English gentleman, Ernest Westlake, packed a tent, a bicycle and forty tins of food and sailed to Tasmania. On mountains, beaches and in sheep paddocks he collected over 13,000 Aboriginal stone tools. Westlake believed he had found the remnants of an extinct race whose culture was akin to the most ancient Stone Age Europeans. But in the remotest corners of the island Westlake encountered living Indigenous communities. Into the Heart of Tasmania tells a story of discovery and realisation. One man's ambition to rewrite the history of human culture inspires an exploration of the controversy stirred by Tasmanian Aboriginal history. It brings to life how Australian and British national identities have been fashioned by shame and triumph over the supposed destruction of an entire race. To reveal the beating heart of Aboriginal Tasmania is to be confronted with a history that has never ended.' (Publication summary)
''If you read only one book about Australia's experience of World War I ... make it Broken Nation, an account that joins the history of the war to the home front, and that details the barbarism of the battlefields as well as the desolation, despair, and bitter divisions that devastated the communities left behind.' - Marilyn Lake, Australian Book Review
'The Great War is, for many Australians, the event that defined our nation. The larrikin diggers, trench warfare, and the landing at Gallipoli have become the stuff of the Anzac 'legend'. But it was also a war fought by the families at home. Their resilience in the face of hardship, their stoic acceptance of enormous casualty lists and their belief that their cause was just made the war effort possible.
'Broken Nation is the first book to bring together all the dimensions of World War I. Combining deep scholarship with powerful storytelling, Joan Beaumont brings the war years to life: from the well-known battles at Gallipoli, Pozieres, Fromelles and Villers-Bretonneux, to the lesser known battles in Europe and the Middle East; from the ferocious debates over conscription to the disillusioning Paris peace conference and the devastating 'Spanish' flu the soldiers brought home. We witness the fear and courage of tens of thousands of soldiers, grapple with the strategic nightmares confronting the commanders, and come to understand the impact on Australians at home, and at the front, of death on an unprecedented scale.' (Publication summary)
'As a student, Jane Lydon was shocked by the photograph on the cover of Charles Rowley’s 1970 classic, The Destruction of Aboriginal Society, which showed two Aboriginal men in neck-chains. In this original and highly illustrated book she uses photography to tell a bigger story of the struggle for Aboriginal rights in Australia. While many of the images are confronting, the book tells the positive story of the way in which photography has been used as a tool for change and to argue for recognition of our shared humanity. Starting at the turn of the twentieth century and continuing to the NT Intervention in the present, the book includes more than 60 images taken from newspapers and journals, as well as the work of contemporary artists.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.