From the Mountains to the Bush: Italian immigrants write home from Australia
UWA Press, $54.95hb, 384pp
Posthumously and handsomely published, this book is a poignant tribute to its author’s ‘magnificent obsession’. For a decade before her sudden death in April 2000, the Melbourne historian Jacqueline Templeton had pursued her interest in the migrations to Australia of Italians from the Valtellina, a province of Sondrio in Lombardy, high up in the Alpine and prealpine zones of northern Italy, close to the present-day border with Switzerland. On the day following the completion of her manuscript, Templeton was diagnosed with a terminal illness and told that she had only months to live. That night she suffered a severe stroke; three days later she was dead. Family and friends grieved for the loss of a vibrant and charming woman.