The chance discovery of a cache of diaries, written more than a century ago, lying in the back of a drawer of the historic property, Brownlow Hill, house revealed to the owner Joan Downes the real reason for the family’s forebears coming to Australia.
Caroline’s Diary brings to life the courage of a young Englishwoman raised in comfortable circumstances at the time of London’s Great Exhibition in 1851 and the family’s subsequent forced flight to Australia. Caroline Thomas found love in Sydney, but her adored husband moved her, often without notice, from the city life she had always known to a relatively isolated country life where she faced the dangers of pregnancy and birth, the deaths of several of her eleven children, the chronic illness of her husband and the death of her sister during the Siege of Lucknow in India.
We read how Caroline made a comfortable home as a young bride at Buckinbah in sparsely populated central New South Wales, then as a young mother their sixteen year residence at Saumarez, a gracious property on the outskirts of Armidale now owned by The National Trust, and later with her growing family at Wivenhoe, south of Sydney near Camden.
About the author
Anne Philp (née White) has a particular interest in the lives of early settlers on the land in northern New South Wales and Far North Queensland. Anne grew to love Saumarez during her many holidays spent there with her aunts, until the property was transferred to the National Trust in 1984.
Softcover, 21cm, 269 pages
Anne Philp, Anchor Books, September 2015