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Showing posts from 2014

Hans Ernst : The 'Kangaroo' plumber

This post is not about fairy tales but about one of the 'off ramps' of research that make it such a fabulous journey. I was fascinated by the achievements of Olga Ernst's younger brother and discovering a University prize in Melbourne named in his honour. This blog post thanks his grandchildren Gail, Belinda, Jon and Alice and his niece Helen Dixon for assisting my research.

Who was Hans Ernst?
There were no babysitters in the small mountain town of Wandiligong where his mother Olga Ernst (nee Johanna Olga Straubel), a young widow of 34, was given a position as an Assistant Teacher in 1897. Consequently Hans began school earlier than most children grasping the opportunity to learn in his mother's schools.

Keen to fly planes, Hans Ernst left in his 20s Australia working his passage over to the US on board a ship. Though his career in California began as a bicycle repairman his ability to see what needed to be improved was soon obvious. H…

Adapting The Elves and the Shoemaker into a 21st Century fairy tale (In German)

To celebrate another year of 'slowly' learning German here is my Christmas Post, as usual, in German. My research focuses on how the fairy tales Ernst wrote were shaped by the Australian landscape and her environment. I decided to adapt the plot and structure of a well-known Grimm fairytale '805_Wichtelmaenner' into a fairy tale that resonated with my life. So, if I had two little elves who would do my work while I slept I would hope they would finish the School Timetable with 20 classes, 4 specialist programs and numerous other events that change weekly. Frohe Weihnachten to all the readers of this blog.
Die Elfen und die stellvertretende Schulleiterin Es war einmal eine stellvertretende Schulleiterin von einer mittelgroßen Schule, die hart arbeitete und eine gute Lehrerin war: aber sie war nicht so gut in die Zeitpläne machen, so dass alle Schüler lernen, was sie wissen müssen. Am Abend bevor das Term begann, mussten die Zeitpläne fertig sein. Sie machte eine Tabelle si…

100 Years of the Brighton Red Cross

I was delighted to attend the Launch of the book "Red Cross in Brighton: A History of the Brighton Unit of Red Cross (Victorian Division, Australia) 1914-2014 " by Alleyn Best. This is a  fascinating history of the contribution of Brighton's Red Cross members in their past century. With such a rich history it must have been a difficult task to decide what to include in the book, but Alleyn has managed to produce a succinct, readable volume illustrated with a wealth of photographs chosen from the archives. I enjoyed reading this riveting history, and am pleased to have been able contribute information about Olga Waller's (Ernst) role in the Brighton Unit. In the chapter devoted to the Junior Red Cross Olga is mentioned as an 'inspiring leader' (pp. 87-94) and there is a beautifully reproduced photo of Olga and the Brighton Junior Red Cross in 1949 (p. 88). 

The book can be purchased from the Brighton Red Cross Unit's address Higinbotham Hall, 104 Bay Street…

Is a PhD like a HT bus?

Pseudonyms and Apologia

While reviewers differentiated between the worth of the books based on gender expectations, women writers also approached their audiences differently to men modifying their approach to meet critical reception. These women suggest that they write to amuse and entertain, and as a genteel leisure time pursuit. Apologia in the Preface or Note to the Reader written, perhaps to pre-empt some of the criticism they believed may be levelled at them.Gumsucker (Sarah Roland) begins Rosalie’s Reward or The Fairy Treasure by saying demurely: Should this story be favourable (sic) received by the little folks for whom it is written, it is the Author’s intention to publish a series of Tales, so that the merry children of the fair South may revel in dreams of their own Fairy Lore.Wilcken (1891) also revealed that it was only that under pressure from friends that she printed her stories and that ‘it seemed ungracious to refuse such a request’. (Preface)
Another way of avoiding criticism was to use a pseu…