Irish Heritage – Patrick McGrath (1848-1911)

My great grandfather Patrick McGrath was born at Finnahy in Tipperary and was baptized at the church in Upperchurch on the 19 Jul 1848. He was the eldest son and fifth child of Thomas McGrath and Mary Ryan. In 1853, when Patrick was five, the family left Ireland and migrated to Australia. For the first … Continue reading Irish Heritage – Patrick McGrath (1848-1911)

Words, Proverbs and Meanings

The meanings of words change over time. Awful began as a shortening for 'full of awe', in other words, inspiring wonder or fear. It has mutated to now be a tired word for something unpleasant. Although changing, on occasions a word will retain something of its original meaning. Elope was first used to described a … Continue reading Words, Proverbs and Meanings

One Minute Book Review – New Boy : Othello Retold by Tracy Chevalier

This retelling of Othello (part of the Hogarth Shakespeare series of contemporary retellings) is set in a suburban Washington elementary school in the 1970s. When Osei,  the son of a Ghanaian diplomat, arrives in the all white school, he immediately finds a friend in the popular and pretty Dee, but his arrival upsets the balance … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – New Boy : Othello Retold by Tracy Chevalier

Hilary Mantel’s Reith Lectures 2017

In the Reith Lectures this year Hilary Mantel discusses what is at the heart of good historical fiction, our relationship with the past, and the central elements in a historical novelist's attempt to bring the past alive for us today. As Mantel herself says 'The reason you must stick by the truth is that it … Continue reading Hilary Mantel’s Reith Lectures 2017

Book Review – A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her Work by Bernadette Brennan

Helen Garner is one of Australia's best loved writers. Her first novel Monkey Grip was published in 1977 and since then she has published further novels, short stories, full length non-fiction works, screenplays, as well as numerous essays, articles and newspaper columns. A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her Work (2017) by Bernadette Brennan is … Continue reading Book Review – A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her Work by Bernadette Brennan

One Minute Book Review – The Golden Age by Joan London.

The Golden Age is a Perth convalescent hospital for children recovering from poliomyelitis. Under the care of dedicated nurses and physiotherapists, the children are taught to use their limbs again and to gain the independence necessary for their return to the outside world. In this nurturing environment, cut off from their familiar lives with family … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Golden Age by Joan London.