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The Letters of Rachel Henning Hardcover – 23 Feb 2011
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Rachel's letters to another sister in England describe the country, and the way they lived, in a personal, day-to-day record that gives a clear picture of the country and the way settlers lived.
She displays the prejudices and attitudes of middle-class Englishwomen of the time - not always sympathetic to our 21st century views - but also shows the courage and practicality necessary to the survival of even the richest settlers in a remote region sometimes cut off from contact with the outside world for weeks at a time, and subject to the extremes of the Australian climate.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Her long journeys from England and interchanging from Australian city to rural life, and back and forth, certainly enabled her to deeply experience Australia’s unique climates and landscapes.
Family was at the centre of most of Rachel’s letters but in telling them of her life she provided precious glimpses of a much younger colonised Australia.
Her comments regarding Aboriginal Australians confirmed interaction with domestic workers and a small amount of anxiety in coming across “wild” Aborigines still living off the land. Yet Rachel and her brother Biddulph did not seek to hurt Aborigines and both indicated much positivity with regards to coexistence.
Despite the isolation of Australia Rachel kept up to date with international news and made mention of the American Civil War and various wars in Europe.
Rachel’s letters are a rare gift for all Australians and the world as they record the passing of time with her own thoughts and personal experiences.
Nicholas R.W. Henning – Australian Author