Making Herstory: Voices of the Thwaites and Fitzpatrick Women Across Time and Place

Helen Downey with Lorraine Secen

Spanning two centuries, Making Herstory is a unique window into the raw pioneer existence of Mary Ann Thwaites, her daughter Ethel, who grew up in the 1870s Victorian town of Queenscliff, and her granddaughter Theodora, who conquered the men’s domain of the Tasmanian wilderness in the late 1930s.

Alive with twists and connections, we wonder what Theo’s outspoken mother, Ethel, is hiding. Unravelling her secret brings an understanding of why her daughter took to hiking, mountaineering and skiing in Tasmania, never returning to seaside Queenscliff, where one of the most scenic and historically significant places was Thwaites Walk, named for the Thwaites men — Theo’s grandfather, uncles and cousins.

This is a significant herstory. The voices of these women speak to us through letters, diaries, stories, newspapers and magazines, reverberating across time and changing with each location, adding to the often dismissed, but important, wealth of recorded female experience.

Paperback: $29.95

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