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Helen Thomson

Helen Thomson was a Melbourne literary and theatre critic. She taught English at Monash University.

Helen Thomson reviews 'The Pram Factory: The Australian Performing Group recollected' by Tim Robertson

September 2001, no. 234 16 September 2022
At last a history, thirty-two years after the event, of the Australian Performing Group (APG), albeit in the form of highly personal ‘recollections’ from Tim Robertson, one of the group’s stalwarts. The Pram Factory is a handsome, large-format book, containing many wonderful photographs recording the young radicals of the 1970s who created Australian theatre history. It is a mixture of enth ... (read more)

Helen Thomson reviews 'The Australian Stage' edited by Harold Love, 'Reverses' by Marcus Clarke, and 'Les Emigres aux Terres Australes' by Citizen Gamas, translated and edited by Patricia Clancy

May 1986, no. 80 01 May 1986
The Australian Stage represents an interesting intersection between the academic world and the creative arts, between the long perspective of the historian, and the ephemerality of theatre performances. Its methodology is academic; it proceeds from an examination of documents, of written records of an art form only one aspect of which we think of as being written, the actual texts of plays. Howeve ... (read more)

Helen Thomson reviews 'Australian Women Poets' edited by Susan Hampton and Kate Llewellyn

September 1986, no. 84 01 September 1986
In a paper entitled ‘Anthologies and Orthodoxies’ given recently at the Australian Literature Conference in Townsville, Jennifer Strauss, herself a poet as well as an academic, analysed the contents of six recent poetry anthologies, including this new Penguin collection. She came up with the same revealing statistics as editors Susan Hampton and Kate Llewellyn had discovered from a larger samp ... (read more)

Helen Thomson reviews 'Unbridling the Tongues of Women: A biography of Catherine Helen Spence' by Susan Magarey

November 2010, no. 326 01 November 2010
This republication of Susan Magarey’s 1985 biography of Catherine Helen Spence commemorates the anniversary of her death, aged eighty-five, in April 1910. In an enlarged and attractive new paperback format, with a revised introduction, its cover sketch of Spence, with upraised hand, in mid-speech, emphasises the key subject, both actual and metaphorical, of women’s public speaking. Remarkable ... (read more)

Helen Thomson reviews 'The Three Miss Kings' by Ada Cambridge and 'The Invaluable Mystery ' by Leshia Harford

October 1987, no. 95 01 October 1987
These two very different novels by women provide a wealth of suggestive information about the women’s history being reclaimed and re-established by Australian feminists. They also happen to be intrinsically good novels, accomplished and charming in contrasting ways. Add Cambridge’s The Three Miss Kings, reprinted in the Virago Modem Classics series, was first serialised in 1883 in The Austral ... (read more)