The Story of a Baby by Ethel Turner was a rather sad, and unexpected excursion into young love, an early marriage and societal expectations about gender roles. In this short story, Turner also took a rather nostalgic look into the changing face of Sydney and it’s outer suburbs in the late 1890’s.
In cool weather the Red Road was very pleasant walking. It wound up hill and down dale for many a mile till it reached Hornsby, and branched away into different country.
All the way there were gum trees – gum trees and fences; here and there were closer palings and garden shrubs indicating human residence, but they were far apart and the road was lonely. Parallel to it and showing in places between the trees was the single line of the railway. It did not spoil the scenery at all, it rather gave a friendly look to it and reminded the pedestrian that in spite of the bush silences, the towering trees, the vista of the blue hills and mountain-like freshness of the air, he could be in all the buslte and happy fellowship of town in half-an-hour….
In a few years the beautiful countryside will be commonplace suburbs;there will be stucco villas and terrace houses, shops and paved roads; the railway has broken its fastness and the change is inevitable.
The smooth grass slopes, the wooded stretches will live only in memory. The great read and black and silver-limbed gums will be hewn down to make way for spreading civilisation. The blue gracious hills will be thick with chimneys and advertisement boards. There will be a double line of railway, no longer picturesque, and big spreading stations instead of primitive sidings where one held up a ‘flag by day and a light at night’ to be picked up of the passing train.
She was going to make this strike for her rights, and in future have the independence due to the nineteenth century married woman.