Georgiana, by Libby Hathorn

‘Flinders Bay,’ came the triumphant cry, bringing everyone on deck to take a good look at what was to be their new home. It was only three short days since their new vessel, the Emily Taylor, had taken on board its group of free settlers. All of them disappointed, though somewhat seasoned by six weeks or more at the Swan River settlement, all of them eager for the big land grants that were up for grabs further down south, where only sealers and whalers had been!

Georgiana Molloy is 23 years old and newly married when she arrives in the new settlement of Augusta. Fresh from England, and pregnant with her first child, she is determined to make a new life here for herself, her husband Jack and their planned family. As Jack busies himself with his work as magistrate, and the day to day business of establishing their new land, Georgiana is charged with the house and garden. Soon, as well as the practical vegetable plot which is an essential part of colonial life, she also has a flourishing flower garden.

Georgiana: Woman of Flowers is the tale of one woman’s contribution to the development of the settlement of Augusta and the Vasse region and, more particularly, to the knowledge of the flora and fauna of the area. As she works to build a life for her family, Georgiana also studies the plant life around her, collecting samples, recording her observations and sharing her knowledge both with experts and with other settlers.

As well as being an inspirational record of one woman’s life, this is also a wonderful introduction to the lives of colonists in general, and especially to the life lead by women settlers. Hathorn takes us inside Georgiana’s life and also that of young Will Summerfield, a young settler who she befriends, allowing readers to connect with the hardships and challenges, as well as the growing affection for this strange new land which both characters develop.

An excellent introduction to the life of the woman known as the woman of flowers.


Georgiana: Woman of Flowers, by Libby Hathorn
Hachette, 2008

This book is available from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.