The reminiscences of a naive English girl ‘in service’ present a lively portrait of Australia in the 188s and 1890s against the background of Brisbane during the Jubilee, the Sydney Centennial celebrations and the Melbourne Exhibition, as well as a social whirl of dinners, balls and garden parties. Agnes came from England ‘knowing no more than a babe unborn how it came to be in the world’ to a country where there were ‘beautiful flowers without any scent’ and believed that snakes will ‘never die until sunset, however early they are killed’. Her adventurous spirit led her from one great house to another – Governors and grooms, ladies and laundry-maids are all described with the same directness and humour. Illustrated with authentic photographs of the people and places mentioned in Agnes’ narrative.
A Girl At Government House: Agnes Stokes, Edited by Helen Vellacott
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