Unbridling the Tongues of Women: A biography of Catherine by Susan Magarey

By Susan Magarey

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Sample text

The girls, Agnes, Jessie, Catherine and Mary, attended a different school because the parish school did not teach needlework. The two elder ones, Agnes and Jessie, went to their Aunt Mary’s boarding school in Upper Wooden. Catherine and Mary went to a day school in Melrose, called, said Spence, ‘by the very popish name of St Mary’s Convent though it was quite sufficiently Protestant’. There, Miss Phinn, who suffered from dropsy and taught from a sofa, offered them ‘what was considered the education of a gentlewoman’.

62 She appears to have formed only one friendship close enough to have allowed it within the walls of her household, firm enough to have withstood the vicissitudes of 17 Unbridling the tongues of women time. When she was London in the mid-1860s, she visited relatives of her brotherin-law, William Wren, and met there a young woman called Ellen Louisa Gregory. According to Lucy Morice, Spence persuaded Ellen Gregory to emigrate to South Australia in the expectation that she would be a comfort to an aunt living there in the country.

Barbara Wall, ‘Catherine Helen Spence: a bibliography’: State Library of South Australia home page/ South Australiana/Subject Websites/Catherine Helen Spence/Barbara Wall. * For help, over many years, and especially with this introduction, I would like to thank Margaret Allen and Barbara Wall. I am deeply grateful to my old friend Hugo Shaw for the picture that adorns the cover. As always, I am indebted to Susan Sherixxvii Unbridling the tongues of women dan for quality control. Readers will discern in the pages of this book an ongoing debate with historian Kay Daniels.

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