Sarah Lonsdale
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Explosive engagement
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This chapter argues that some women needed to take extreme action in order to escape from the life plotted for them, usually by their fathers. It examines the life of the Australian writer Kylie Tennant, who used her novels to critique interwar Australian society, particularly the White Australia Policy and the slum clearances of Depression-era Sydney. Tennant’s first two novels, Tiburon and Foveaux, are examined at length for their important and overlooked social messages; the chapter argues that Tennant was one of the first writers to warn against anthropogenic climate change in Australia. While Tennant’s strategy, which involved walking alone, through the bush, for hundreds of miles, worked, it came with enormous risks that few women would be willing to take.

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Rebel women between the wars

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