Writing History (A presentation for U3A Mordialloc)

Feb 27 2013

What is History?
Where to go but to the accessible but not so reliable Wikipedia? It says
“History is an academic study and a discipline that relates to past events as well as the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about these events. This is not what exactly I do because my histories would probably not pass the academic test.
I refer to what I do as ‘folk history’ that is stories from my time and place that belong in a particular culture. Other people might classify it as Cultural heritage.
It is based upon fact and real life experience but it is subjective rather than objective and it is sometimes embellished.
'Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!’ That is my motto.
History is always going to be blurred by the people who write it. No history is purely objective. It is always going to be told through the eyes of a particular person or group of persons.
The Australian History that I learned at school – There was not an aborigine or a woman for that matter to be spotted. If we were to believe this version of our Australian History we would believe that Australia was an empty country when Captain Cook sailed to its shores. He discovered it! In actual fact the first European landing in Australia was in 1606 by the Dutchman Willem Janszoon, 160 odd years before our good captain. Even the Portuguese and the French arrived before Cook. Never mind that the aborigines had lived here for at least forty thousand years. So the version of history I learnt at school was not a history of Australia as such, it was a history of British settlement in Australia. And a sanitized version at that!
I went to school in Gippsland where Angus McMillan was revered. He and his brave party had transversed the difficult terrain and opened up the land to settlement. The men who came with him selected land and set up farms establishing agriculture and bringing prosperity to the region. The true story is that McMillan’s party worked their way across the Great Dividing Range and through the lush forests killing every aborigine who came into the sites of their guns and taking their land from them. The haunting list of the hundreds of known massacres can be read on a tribute wall at the Highway Park in Stratford, Victoria.
My first efforts at documenting history are rather crude but quite effective and the result can be seen in this book which I published in 2009 in a bit of a flurry as I was going off to live in Ireland for twelve months. At that stage my father was an old man but he was still alive and he carried within him a history of Lakes Entrance that reached right back to settlement in the area. His maternal grandmother was a child of William Carstairs who was the first European to fish the lake system. When I retired from work I made it my first duty to document his story. And I did! But then I thought ‘Heh! Hang on his brother and his cousins are still on deck. They had a common grandmother so I gleaned their stories from them. Why let it stop there?
I am one of ten children and we all grew up in Lakes Entrance, so I had ten more stories, my cousins grew up in the town also so they were included as well. And then the next generation and the one after that! I had a book that told the story of a town through the eyes of the line of one family who had all grown up in that town.
The stories were all subjective. They had to be because they were as the teller saw things. Sometimes there was two conflicting views of the same event. But that is OK as long as the reader understands that.
The other thing to remember is that nobody was going to relate anything that they wanted kept hidden so the history is probably sanitized but that’s what happens with history and that’s OK.
One day I am going to write Our Little Town, the true story.
I wrote Our Little Town for the family but amazingly people found it interesting and the book is still turning over sales today.
At school we learned of the squatters, the bushmen and the men who made Australia great.
Where were the woman in all of this?
Not a word spoken of them, save Henry Lawson’s story of ‘Drover’s Wife.’
In fact, the drover’s wives lived in every farm house in every remote part of the country, clearing the bush with their husbands, bearing the children, caring for the men and civilizing the towns.
Reading Australian history one would think that the only women who played any part in the development of the country was Ma and Kate Kelly who were Ned Kelly's kin, and Caroline Chisholm who looked after the prostitutes.
What I am trying to say here is that history isn’t always the truth. It is the truth as seen and told by the person who tells it. Even the recent finding of the bones of Richard the Third dispelled many truths as myths. Shakespeare embellished his stories!!!
The novel 'Ma's Garden' is the story of day to day life, loves and disappointments of the men and women of a small country town on the edge of civilization in Australia at the turn of the century in 1902.
I’m a bit like Shakespheare, I too have taken considerable literary license, allowing the story to unfold without being constrained by facts. I addressed this by creating an Author’s Note at the back of "Ma's Garden" in which I noted the historical facts upon which the story is based.
Around the Kitchen Table - Short Stories and Poems
Writing a novel it can get tedious by about the tenth draft and sometimes I get bored.
To overcome this I always have a short story on my desk top that I can pull up and play with. Many of them deal with historical fact.
You see a short story is a completely different art form. It is a finely crafted work that has to be refined and reworked so that the story gets told with maximum effect and minimum words. A bit like précis writing when we went to school. It’s mental gymnastics and it’s fun.
Over the years I had notched up quite a few short stories, some of which have been successful in competitions so I set myself the task of reducing these stories even further into poems. And that was how ‘Around the Kitchen Table’ came about. I named the book for my noisy and boisterous birth family and the kitchen table at our home that was always aglow with babble.
Even though the novel, 'Lover Husband Father Monster' is set in contemporary Ireland, that in itself is historical. At the time of writing, the era of the Celtic Tiger where prosperity reigned supreme and money flowed in the streets and pubs, had ended abruptly and building sites all over the country were silent and shops were empty, people were out of work and Ireland owed more money than it could possibly repay. The story is about a relationship that goes horribly wrong, mirroring what was happening in the country at the time.
Also when we left Australia we were still in shock over the man who threw his young child over the Westgate Bridge. How could a man do such a thing? There had previously the case of the man who drove his three little boys into a dam on Fathers day and left them there to die. All to obtain revenge on women who walked out on them. Ireland was suffering shock from similar cases. Unfortunately this sort of thing happens everywhere. Did it happen in the past? I suppose it did but perhaps it is more prevalent today because women are free to leave an abusive relationship. They have more power over what they do and say and some men do not like that.
IN LHFM we told HISstory and HERstory, capturing two opinions and thoughts on the same events. By doing our research thoroughly we have captured a time and place in history and an issue that is relevant to today’s society.

Elsie Agnes Johnstone, Writer and Novelist.

Books Published
Our Little Town – Growing up in Lakes Entrance (BookPal 2009)

Lover Husband Father Monster, A Novel In Two Voices (BookPal 2010)

Ma’s Garden (Amazon 2012)

Round the Kitchen Table (Amazon 2012)
Short Stories and Poems

hello!,I love your writing so

hello!,I love your writing so so much! percentage we communicate more approximately your article
on AOL? I need an expert on this house to unravel my problem.
Maybe that's you! Looking forward to see you.

My blog post ... Lake Swamp Mitigation Bank

I do agree with all of the

I do agree with all of the ideas you've presented in your post They're very convincing and will definitely work Still the posts are too short for newbies Could you please extend them a bit from next time? Thanks for the post. acne

Everyone loves it when

Everyone loves it when individuals come together and share
opinions. Great site - Shona,,
continue the good work!

Great!! Very nicely written.

Great!! Very nicely written. Had a good time reading it.
Designjet 4000PS

Thanks for sharing the info.

Thanks for sharing the info. Very Useful. thanks for sharing this..i was really inspired from you. how to grow taller



Pretty nice post. I just

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to
say that I've truly enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. yeast infection treatment

This is a great article with

This is a great article with valuable idea and knowledge to keep in mind. This website is one of the best. - James Cullem

We can not proceed if we will

We can not proceed if we will not look back because by doing so we will be able to determined the things to be done in order to succeed. - O2 Media

hello there and thank you fоr

hello there and thank you fоr yoսr infߋrmation – I've certainly
picked uρ ѕomething neѡ from rіght here. I diid Һowever expertise ѕome
technical issues սsing tҺis site, sincе I experienced tο reload the website llots օf times previous tο
Ι could get it to load properly. Ι hаd ƅeen wondering if уoսr hosting iѕ OK?
Nоt tҺɑt I'm complaining, bսt slow loading instances times will vety frequently affect уoսr
placement in google and can damage yοur quality score iff advertising ɑnd marketing ѡith Adwords.
Αnyway I am adding this RSS tо my e-mail and coulԁ lοoҟ оut fօr ɑ lot more
օf youг respective interesting content.

Mɑke surе yoս update tҺiѕ again verʏ

my weblog ... clash of clans triche

Wonderful goods from you,

Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to
and you are just too magnificent. I actually like whatt you have acquired here, certainly like what you're saying and the way in which you say it.
You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise.
I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful website.

Also visit my web site visit the next post

I am not that good in

I am not that good in history, so this blog really helped me a lot in my project, so thank for posting this. - YOR Health

I have gone finding the

I have gone finding the perfect material to read and this one interest me the most. - Paramount Song

Thanks you for your sharing

Thanks you for your sharing the infomation. Very Useful. thanks for sharing this visit to www.bodytakecaretip.com

history is the most precious.

history is the most precious. Academic history is frequently as slanted as popular history; textbook are sold with agenda attached. They can be good resources, but rarely unbiased ones. Look for multiple sources from as close to the event as possible, and put it in context of other events of the time. buy online essay

Be presenting responsive with

Be presenting responsive with the intention of you'll include student of pay for academic papers inconsistent ability within your classroom.

To avoid unnecessary

To avoid unnecessary disagreements and survive legitimate debates, good historians explain why their question is important, exactly what sources they found, and how they analyzed those sources to achieve a special rendering. best college essay sites In other language, they establish that both their approach and results are valid and important.

The 2nd operate happened

The 2nd operate happened simply by kind agreement using Philip in addition to Janie Marshall with Lynwood Village near Robertson from the Lower Highlands all-around Questionnaire. http://www.assignmentbay.co.uk

here is the perfect website

here is the perfect website for how to hack fb account that can give you password and related account information.

download latest antivirus

download latest antivirus for pc 2016 for free

According to my thinking for

According to my thinking for this content "Writing History (A presentation for U3A Mordialloc)" is really brilliant written and I prefer reading like these categories topics which all the time getting my skills level better via giving elegant information. Online Homework Help Service. Thanks for writing.

Here is the homepage for

Here is the homepage for Website from where you can get gift cards.

The study of historical

The study of historical foundation from the history provides verification to help students learn about the history and appreciate historic processes. Explain More Detail about HelpDoAssignment.com

Better words. History is not

Better words. History is not the created in our mind. its a true facts based on our ancestors did in past. we catch it from the eyes of the person who was the witness of that scene, we feel it and then we write it.

I like to read about history.

I like to read about history. It's not matter for me that the history is what about.

The new generation is getting

The new generation is getting advanced researched studies as older days there was a lack of good research so the new generation is more talented


Thanks a

excellent. one of the best

excellent. one of the best articles I have every read. This is the information which I have been searching. Great information I will tweet to my friends to get them to check it out. keep it up. Thanks for sharing http://topassignmentwriters.com/ !

Imminent donors ought to look

Imminent donors ought to look through our online file to guarantee the proposition or branch of knowledge hasn't been composed about as of late. Visit Our Website http://www.buyassignmentservice.com/write-me-a-research-paper

Coordinate a portable stage

Coordinate a portable stage which meet the taste and expertise levels of all players, and which gives them that energy readily available and you have a fabulous bundle advertising. dr driving game

The white name club

The white name club proprietors tried to supplement their space recreations and lotto wagering diversions with a versatile structure which offers players with fantastic, constant gambling club activity helpfully accessible at whatever time and from anyplace.
bus simulator online

The gifted people who work

The gifted people who work the site have coordinated their years of priceless involvement in gaming and in the gambling club industry to make something that can give players the same, if worse fulfillment which they themselves have delighted in throughout the years.
scary maze game 5

Wow! A great definition of

Wow! A great definition of History.and better example too.Awesome story with very very unique title too.

You may need to furnish the

You may need to furnish the engineers with an office space and other vital necessities for the execution of the venture. google loco

History is the most valuable.

History is the most valuable. Scholarly history is much of the time as inclined as prominent history; course book are sold with motivation joined. They can be great assets, however once in a while impartial ones. Search for various sources from as near the occasion as could be expected under the circumstances, and place it in connection of different occasions of the time. pay to write essay To keep away from superfluous contradictions and survive honest to goodness banters about, great students of history clarify why their inquiry is imperative, precisely what sources they found, and how they dissected those sources to accomplish an extraordinary rendering.

Thus the potential customers

Thus the potential customers have so many resources to obtain various data and information the providers of packers and movers. there are many sites which entertain review by individuals who provides their feedback through their information.

Packers and Movers Hyderabad
Packers and Movers Bangalore
Packers and Movers Pune

The customers should make

The customers should make sure with their broker that appropriate care and interest is being given to their most valuable family associates products obtained through spending their lifelong savings.

Packers and Movers Mumbai
Packers and Movers Gurgaon
Packers and Movers Delhi

The broker should have

The broker should have regular and effective employees to perform the various projects engaged while shifting. The packaging of various products is a very trial requiring time, patience and energy.

Packers and Movers Chennai
Packers and Movers Noida
Packers and Movers Navi Mumbai
Packers and Movers Thane
Packers and Movers Ghaziabad
Packers and Movers Faridabad

The workers should realize

The workers should realize the value and significance of products they handle and attend to them with due appropriate care. The different products varying in sizes, shapes as well as quality should be loaded in various techniques

Packers and Movers in Hyderabad
Packers and Movers in Bangalore
Packers and Movers in Pune
Packers and Movers in Mumbai
Packers and Movers in Gurgaon
Packers and Movers in Delhi

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.