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Showing posts from July, 2012

Nestled in the mountains, principally for work.

The opportunity to be Acting Principal for two weeks at a small school with picturesque views of the ranges including Mount Donna Buang and Little Joe, both featured in Songs from the Dandenongs has been a delightful experience. The view from my office has been of  mountains bathed in sunlight or hidden by cloud. Different moods. Captivating. 

Placing 'Australia' in fairy tales

At Brighton Historical Society (Bayside Art of Words Literary Festival)  today I began my talk about Olga Waller (Ernst) who was a resident of Brighton, with a brief exploration of early Australian fairytales. A small group of Australian writers realised the importance of setting narrative firmly in distinctly recognisable localities for Australian children. Ethel Turner and Mary Grant Bruce, contemporaries of Ernst, chose a different genre. Of the total children’s books published between 1870 and Ernst's Fairytales of the Land of the Wattle only about a dozen were fairy tales. 
The fairies in Rosalie's Reward live in the rundown flower garden of a cottage near the Ballaraat goldfields and when the 'fairy godmother' appears it is in the form of an old (and rich) miner. J.R.Lockeyeare’s  Mr. Bunyip is a kind hearted chap giving some social and historical pointers to an eager Mary Somerville who has strayed from the path in a ‘Red Riding Hood like’ ramble. Charles Marson …