Alistair Thomson: Moving Stories


Penny Russell


Moving Stories: An Intimate History of Four Women Across Two Countries
by Alistair Thomson
UNSW Press, $49.95 pb, 358 pp, 9781742232782


Gwen Good’s migration to Perth in 1963 turned out well. She loved Australia, the climate that turned life into one long summer holiday, and the house that she and her family soon acquired. She was an active member of her church, and a contented wife and mother who revelled in her children. By the 1980s she was ready to give away the bundle of reel-to-reel tapes on which, decades before, the family had conveyed its early impressions of Perth in audio letters to be sent home to England. The letters had come back to her when, in turn, her parents migrated to join the Goods in Perth. They held a past that had blended so seamlessly into the present that it no longer seemed particularly interesting.

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Penny Russell

Penny Russell

Penny Russell is Associate Professor in History at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include gender, status, manners, and power in the nineteenth-century British world, especially the Australian colonies. She is a co-editor of History Australia, the journal of the Australian Historical Association, and author of Savage or Civilised? Manners in Colonial Australia (2010) and A Wish of Distinction: Colonial Gentility and Femininity (1994).

Published in September 2011 no. 334

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