Her Selection: Writings by Nineteenth-Century Australian Women was first published in 1988 by Penguin Books.
In her Introduction, Lynne Spender discusses her motivation for curating this selection. Previous collections had been put together ‘on the basis of accepted literary traditions rather than on women’s interests‘, with a focus on men, mateship and the outback. She states that
when women’s writing did not reflect nor promote this image of Australia and its new national heroes, their work was largely ignored.
She aims to rectify this with Her Selection. A selection that shows women learning to live in a new country very different from the one they left behind, whilst making a home and raising a family. Many of these stories also reveal how the women often had different attitudes towards and relationships with the Aboriginal people in their communities, compared to stories written by men at this time.
The collection includes letters written in the 1830’s from one of the first white colonists in WA, Georginana Molloy to Mary Gaunt who was one of the first group of women to attend university in Melbourne.
|Anna Maria Bunn||The Guardian||1808-1899|
|Louisa Anne Meredith||Over the Straits||1812-1895|
|Mary Theresa Vidal||Tales for the Bush||1815-1895|
|Annie Maria Baxter||Memories of the Past||1816-1905|
|Catherine Helen Spence||A Week in the Future||1825-1910|
|Annabella Boswell||An Account of Early Port Macquarie||1826-1914|
|Caroline Woolmer Leakey||The Broad Arrow||1827-1881|
|Mary Fortune (Waif Wander)||Bertha’s Legacy||1833-1911|
|Caroline Louisa Atkinson||Tom Hellicar’s Children||1834-1872|
|Ada Cambridge||The Perversity of Human Nature||1844-1926|
|Catherine Martin||The Incredible Journey||1847-1937|
|Jessie Couvreur (Tasma)||Monsieur Caloche||1848-1897|
|Louisa Lawson||The Dawn||1848-1920|
|Mary Gaunt||The Uncounted Cost||1861-1942|
- This post was written on the traditional land of the Wangal clan, one of the 29 clans of the Eora Nation within the Sydney basin. This Reading Life acknowledges that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are this land’s first storytellers.