Double Time: Women in Victoria – 150 Years
The first idea I remember having about the past as history was that people were more brutish then and more unjust because they were more ignorant. History was progress. This was the enlightened age.
I was about nine at the time, a boarder at a Catholic convent in Gippsland, but my naive notions of history were still shared by many historians. I had already devoured the ten volumes of Arthur Mees’s Children’s Encyclopaedia, especially the Greek and Roman myths and English kings and queens and proceeded to an ancient and British history in twenty volumes. My experience of Australian history was confined to Ethel Turner, Mary Grant Bruce, and a picture book series of stories from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century history – the explorers Eureka, the Rum Rebellion. Hegel came a lot later, and, strangely enough, via one of the nuns.