Bluestocking in Patagonia, by Anne Whitehead

A century ago, 500 disillusioned Australians set out for Paraguay to found a socialist colony. One of the travellers, schoolteacher Mary Cameron – has perhaps been better remembered than the rest. She was to become renowned not for her participation in this social experiment but for her writing and contribution to the arts in Australia. To this day her face graces Australia’s ten dollar note.

Mary Gilmour (as she became on her marriage soon after her arrival in Paraguay) joined the Paraguay group believing she would be part of a better life, both for herself and others. This dream didn’t last long but, by then, Mary was married to shearer William Gilmore. The couple remained in South America – in Buenos Aires and Patagonia – for six years before heading home.

Blue Stocking in Patagonia is an interesting blend of biography and travelogue, as author Anne Whitehead retraces Gilmore’s steps to reveal an interesting chapter in the writer’s life.

Intriguing reading for those fond of biography.

Bluestocking in Patagonia, by Anne whitehead
Allen & Unwin, 2003