January–February 2017, issue no. 388

James Dunk reviews 'Dr James Barry: A woman ahead of her time' by Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield

James Dunk

‘The devil! It’s a woman!’ exclaimed a charwoman as she laid out the naked body of James Barry, MD, for burial. Seventy-six years earlier, Barry had been born ...

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John Arnold reviews 'Up Came a Squatter: Niel Black of Glenormiston, 1839–1880' by Maggie Black

John Arnold

At the launch of Up Came a Squatter, Geoffrey Blainey reflected on how important the wool industry was to Australia for more than a hundred years ...

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Evelyn Juers reviews 'Cursed Legacy: The Tragic Life of Klaus Mann' by Frederic Spotts

Evelyn Juers

In ‘The Art of Biography’, Virginia Woolf insists that this ‘is the most restricted of all the arts’ and that even if many biographies are written, few survive. But somehow ...

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Jill Burton reviews 'Cynthia Nolan: A biography' by M.E. McGuire

Jill Burton

When times were difficult, Cynthia Reed Nolan ‘drew the veil’. Born in Evandale in 1908, the youngest of six children, Cynthia always sought distance ...

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Ann-Marie Priest reviews 'Katherine Mansfield: The early years' by Gerri Kimber

Ann-Marie Priest

Katherine Mansfield is one of those shimmering literary figures whose life looms larger than her work. This is not because her writing lacks value: Mansfield’s spiky ...

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Shannon Burns reviews 'The Life of D.H. Lawrence' by Andrew Harrison

Shannon Burns

Readers who expect to be treated with gentlemanly courtesy have always found D. H. Lawrence rough going. His explicit fictional representations of sex and his anti-war diatribes were widely condemned in his lifetime, and his novels were duly censored or withdrawn from sale in Britain and beyond. Lawrence’s prose style – lyrical and sensuous one moment, brusque a ... More

Ian Donaldson reviews 'The Unknown Judith Wright' by Georgina Arnott

Ian Donaldson

Literary biographers and their intended subjects at times agree and at times disagree about the stories they think should be told. J.D. Salinger and Vladimir Nabokov – the one, fastidiou More

Janna Thompson reviews 'Hume: An intellectual biography' by James A. Harris

Janna Thompson

David Hume earned his place in the philosophical pantheon mostly because of the uncompromising empiricism of his early work A Treatise of Human Nature (1738). He looked ...

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Kevin Foster reviews Phillip Schuler: The remarkable life of one of Australia’s greatest war correspondents' by Mark Baker

Kevin Foster

Who was Phillip Schuler? A war correspondent for The Age, his six-week visit to Gallipoli in July and August 1915 produced, inter alia, a few of the rare eyewitness accounts of the battle ...

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Miriam Cosic reviews 'Hitler: A biography, volume I: Ascent, 1889–1939' by Volker Ullrich and translated by Jefferson Chase

Miriam Cosic

There is a point of view that says we shouldn't humanise a tyrant such as Adolf Hitler since that reduces the symbolism, the power of his name as a synonym for pure evil, and can lead to ...

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