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Pioneer Daughter
Author :Lilleyman Gillian
RRP : $59.5
ISBN: 9780646985633
Format:
Published:
All prices in Australian Dollars

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The diary of Frances Louisa (Fanny) Brockman (née Bussell) is in the J S Battye Library of West Australian History, where a copy is available to researchers on microfilm. The one volume ledger was donated to the library from the estate of Bussell descendant Athole Fergusson Stewart. A journalist, Stewart drew upon his great-aunt’s record for articles about his family in the 1940s, and he described Fanny’s diary then as ‘a skeleton history of the Margaret awaiting someone to put flesh upon its bones’. Begun in 1872, Fanny’s diary spans more than three decades. Her entries touch on the establishment of the South West timber industry, the development of the pearling and cattle industries of the North West, the discovery of gold, the rise in caves tourism and political change that led to Federation. With the research facilities now available, it is possible to fill in some of the missing detail regarding these and other events, and to profile many of the characters to whom Fanny referred. The advances in technology that enable this have distanced our present age even further from Fanny’s than when Athole Stewart was writing 70 years ago, making her entries on purely domestic and farming matters valuable social history. Fanny’s diary is more than a social history. It is a story of sisterly love and loyalty, and resilience in the face of adversity from a compassionate and indefatigable woman. It is time it came out of the archives and onto our bookshelves.
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