Yesterday's Daughters is a collection of 19 brief life stories from women born between 1892 -1910, who were invited by the YWCA to write about their lives in a correspondence programme.
Some were daughters of pioneers in Gippsland, others were soldiers wives on settlement blocks trying to tame the Mallee, some came to Australia as adults, still more grew up in suburban areas - but the theme throughout each of their stories is their ability to smile and share by-gone times with the reader.
Published in 1986 and edited by Alma Bushell, every woman in this book lived through 2 world wars and the Great Depression; they were expected to work hard, some of them shouldering heavy burdens before they were 10 years old, but none of them complained or wailed "Why should I?" as it was the same all over.
No electricity, mice plagues, dust storms, patching holes in shoes, darning socks, sewing their own clothes, getting ice to keep the perishables during the heat, struggling to find any work, working long hours just to stand in long queues for a small ration of food - these women were pioneers in areas few of us will ever get to, or even want to, experience.
It's another great find from the op shop but Yesterday's Daughters would fit in very well with any area of SOSE or Australian History in todays secondary schools.
A brief Google found several copies of this book available second hand, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone interested in how Yesterday's Daughters helped shape Australia.
Labels: Yesterday's Daughters