Prime Ministers’ Wives by Diane Langmore & Suffrage to Sufferance by Janine Haines

by
December 1992, no. 147

Prime Ministers’ Wives: The public and private lives of ten Australian women by Diane Langmore

McPhee Gribble, $24.95 pb, 341 pp

Suffrage to Sufferance: 100 years of women in politics

by Janine Haines

Prime Ministers’ Wives by Diane Langmore & Suffrage to Sufferance by Janine Haines

by
December 1992, no. 147

Diane Langmore has given us a fascinating account of the lives of ten women, from Pattie Deakin to Hazel Hawke. She has explored the background of each, the attraction which ended in marriage to a politically ambitious man, and the adaptation of each to her husband’s obsessive struggle for the most powerful political post in Australia. Her analysis of the women’s relationship to their partners throws light on the personalities and attitudes of the men chosen by Australians to lead the nation. For the early sketches Langmore has drawn on diaries, newspaper reports, and the opinions of contemporaries; for the latter she has been able to add to her sources the opinions and musings, given in interviews, of the women themselves. Langmore writes with clarity and style, never belittling or patronising her subjects, and her sympathetic viewpoint enables the reader to appreciate the varied personalities of her subjects. She does not, however, fall into the trap of assuming that the public face of each woman is always the private one.

Audrey Oldfield reviews 'Prime Ministers’ Wives: The public and private lives of ten Australian women' by Diane Langmore and 'Suffrage to Sufferance: 100 years of women in politics' by Janine Haines

Prime Ministers’ Wives: The public and private lives of ten Australian women

by Diane Langmore

McPhee Gribble, $24.95 pb, 341 pp

Suffrage to Sufferance: 100 years of women in politics

by Janine Haines

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