The Australian outback at the turn of the 20th century was a rugged and unforgiving atmosphere for European settlers; pioneers drawn by the promises of the vast, largely unsettled land. This audiobook details the story of 10 of the women who were at the forefront of this movement. Not just wives and mothers but explorers, teachers, and nurses, who in almost every case formed strong bonds with aboriginal people. We are brought along with them as they traverse the bush. Kate Hood gives an impassioned performance of the material, making the historical live and breathe and these powerful women shine through the dust and grit of their rough environment.
These women encountered conditions which would test their resilience and resourcefulness to the utmost: relentless heat, dust and isolation; hostile wildlife; no medical facilities; and never-ending, backbreaking work.
Great Pioneer Women of the Outback profiles 10 female pioneers, from Jeannie Gunn, author of We of the Never Never, to equally remarkable but lesser known women, such as Emma Withnell in Western Australia and Evelyn Maunsell in Queensland. Building on the women's records and her own knowledge of Australian history, Susanna de Vries documents the grit and determination it took to build what many today would consider an extraordinary life.
Would you listen to Great Pioneer Women of the Outback again? Why?
yes I have
What did you like best about this story?
I was in Australia at the time. I enjoyed the real people/ places.
I very much enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The narrator does an excellent job at bringing the words to life. The author clearly has a passion for the subject and focused on all the little things, as well as the bigger things, that make a historical book readable and accessible. I felt I understood much more what life was like from the perspective of women, which is a viewpoint often overlooked in preference for the deeds of the men, whose stories have traditionally taken precedence. One thing I would have liked to see more of is recognition of the lives and stories of Australia's original inhabitants and how things were from their perspective. To leave these details out is doing the same thing as historical accounts that only focus on (white) men, i.e. giving the reader only part of the story and hence a (perhaps unintentionally) biased overall picture of life in the outback of the early 20th century.
I loved these stories while being in total awe of these women. How they managed the heat, flies, mosquitoes, sand, dust, illness and fatigue I will never understand.