Just finished reading a biography of Arthur Phillip, the founder of British settlement in Australia. Arthur Phillip: Sailor, Mercenary, Governor, Spy by Michael Pembroke, is an interesting account of the life of the first governor of the colony of NSW. It details the many experiences he had in the British and Portuguese navies which led to him being the ideal person to lead the First Fleet.
The Museum of Sydney is now on the site of Sydney’s first government house. Located on the corner of Phillip and Bridge streets, you can see this memorial plaque on the side of the modern building.
Visited Diabolik Books, in Mt Hawthorn, for the first time on the weekend. Great selection of books including new releases of titles by now not so popular Australian authors such as Randolph Stow and Christina Stead.
We were in Mt Hawthorn, an inner suburb of Perth, yesterday, and noticed this quote from Virginia Woolf. It was on a board outside Magna Pizza, where we had a great lunch, sitting outside in the warm late autumn sun.
As one of Perth’s oldest suburbs, Subiaco has lots of historical connections, including a park named after an eminent 19th century botanist. Ferdinand von Mueller came to Australia from Germany in 1847. He held the position of government botanist in the state of Victoria and travelled widely collecting botanical specimens.
He was a prolific writer, publishing many scientific papers and important books such as “Eucalyptographia: A Descriptive Atlas of the Eucalypts of Australia and the Adjoining Islands”.
Mueller Park has some large gum trees (eucalypts) and also avenues of Norfolk Island pines and very old Peppermint trees.
We visited the exhibition “Torn” by Hayley Welsh a few weeks ago and mentioned it here. This week, Hayley went back to her street art roots and painted some of her imaginary animals at various locations along a stretch of Albany Highway in Victoria Park. This outdoor exhibition, titled “The Things We Can Find” did not have a book reading animal but there was one with what looks like a rolled up newspaper.
We recently visited Harvey House in the grounds of King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco. This very interesting museum covers the history of medicine in WA from colonial times. In 1916, Harvey House became Perth’s first public hospital for women, so the first room in the museum shows a typical end of 18th century bedroom birth scene with a midwife who probably had little training. In same room is a labour ward from the period when the hospital first opened.
Among the interesting publications on display in the museum is this one titled “Our Babies” which looks like May Gibbs may have done the illustrations for the front cover.
Across the road from Second Hand Books (see previous post) is the New Edition bookshop – probably Perth’s best independent bookstore. It is in a beautiful building from 1895 and in a great location in the centre of Fremantle’s historic High St.
The Second Hand Books store in the High St in Fremantle is worth stopping by just to admire the window display. A few weeks ago there was a terrific display of books by Virginia Woolf and other Bloomsbury group authors such as Lytton Strachey.
This week, perhaps because it is school holidays, there is an amazing collection of folktales from around the world.
The Linton and Kay Gallery in St George’s Terrace in Perth city centre is currently holding an exhibition by Hayley Welsh. Hayley’s art often includes books and we featured her wall mural at Curtin University in a previous blog.
The current exhibition is titled “Torn” and several of the art works are based on a page from an old book. Hayley’s art also often features a fantastical rabbit-like animal which is kind of appropriate for the Easter season.
The exhibition continues until 23 April.
The Royal Western Australian Historical Society had a book sale on the weekend at the society’s headquarters in Broadway, Nedlands, where we purchased a biography by Daphne du Maurier called “Golden Lads”. Published in 1975, this book describes the life of Anthony Bacon, the less famous brother of Elizabethan era philosopher and courtier, Francis Bacon.
Anthony Bacon was secretary to Robert Devereux, the 2nd Earl of Essex, and sometime favourite of Elizabeth 1. The book has interesting insights into life and politics in the Tudor period and the cultural life of London at that time, including the theatrical world of William Shakespeare.