Midweek Media: Australian History by White Men

So, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank just celebrated its centenary, so it created this ad. The commentary goes: I was born a hundred years ago. I helped bring the world closer to home. I saw men search for dreams at Broken Hill. And watched my best mates leave. It was like the world caught fire. And then […]

Underbelly: Razor

Sydney underworld figure Tilly Devine right with her former rival Kate Leigh.

I wrote a while back that while I really enjoyed the strong, pivotal female characters in Undebelly: The Golden Mile, I was disappointed that all the female characters were either victims of crime or crusaders against it, as if women have never been in the thick of the crime. Where were the corrupt cops? The […]

Australia’s Prime Minister Does Not Need To Curtsey

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gilard has copped a lot of flak lately.  Some of it she deserves. And some of she doesn’t. Like refusing to curtsey to the Queen. Gillard was told that an acknowledging nod would do (and how is one meant to curtsey in a pencil skirt, anyway?). I won’t bore you with […]

Christie Dickason’s ‘The King’s Daughter’

Christie Dickason’s 17th century-set historical novel The King’s Daughter is about Princess Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James I of England/IV of Scotland.  By extention, it’s also the story of her biracial slave, Thalia, given to her by her mother.I found it to be a fascinating look at the issues of ownership of the day, whether […]

The Women in The Tudors – Seasons 3&4

I adore the British series The Tudors, for all its flaws. (And Good Lord do the flaws become apparant the further along you get.) One of those flaws is a very hit-and-miss approach to the female characters. Stand-outs are Maria Doyle-Kennedy (Katherine of Aragon) and Natalie Dormer (Anne Boleyn) from the first two series, which […]

Vanora Bennett’s The People’s Queen

I particularly enjoyed historical writer Vanora Bennett’s Queen of Silks. Protagonist Isabel Lambert is driven and sympathetic, attempting to rejuvenate 15th century England’s inefficient silk industry and, while ultimately failing, it still comes across as interesting, with a woman lead you can root for and groan with when her efforts come undone. The same, however, […]

John Marsden’s ‘The Ellie Chronicles’

While I Live, the first in John Marsden’s The Ellie Chronicles trilogy, picks up where the last of the Tomorrow series left off: the war is over, much of Australia has been ceded to Indo – I mean, Nameless Enemy Country – and Ellie Linton and what remains of her friends must find a way […]