Tuesday 12 March 2013

'Collecting Ladies' new book

I was sent an absolutely beautiful book called Collecting Ladies by Penny Olsen. It centres around Ferdinand von Mueller and the women botanical artists who sent him specimens they had collected. There is a fascinating story behind this which makes for some very enjoyable reading.

The women in the book came from every state in the Australian colonies, as Mueller had advertised in newspapers for collectors around 1870 and had over 3000 responses, of which only about 10% were women.

Louisa Anne Meredith (Tas), Fanny de Mole (SA), Helena Scott (NSW), Ellis Rowan (Vic) and Lady Margaret Forrest (WA) are among some of the fourteen women featured in this book.

Some of Fanny de Mole's delightful botanical paintings

Not only does the book contain some wonderful botanical paintings, but also some charming photographs of the artists which gives us an an insight into their lives.

Rosa Fiveash in her Adelaide Hills home 1907
I loved reacquainting myself with the ladies from my book 'Women of Flowers'  and was delighted to meet other very talented women, all with special stories.

This book is in the final stages of publication and will be available for sale from 5th April. You will be able to purchase it from the National Library of Australia's bookshop and many bookstores around Australia.

Happy reading....

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