Old days, old ways

Old days, old ways: A book of recollections

By: Mary Gilmore

In this work, Gilmore finely describes life in 19th century Australia, and midwife Mrs. Bennett in particular.

Gilmore, Mary. (1934). Old days, old ways: A book of recollections. Angus & Robertson


Mary Jean Cameron was born in 1865, and died Dame Mary Jean Gilmore in 1962. In this work, she describes life in the 19th century in fine detail, and midwife Mrs. Bennett in particular.


Her twin books of prose reminiscences, Old Days, Old Ways: a Book of Recollections and More Recollections were published in 1934 and 1935. In them she recaptures the spirit and atmosphere of pioneering. These anecdotal accounts which present ‘Australia as she was when she was most Australian’ are lively and attractive examples of her skill as a prose writer and, although unreliable and romanticized, have become invaluable sources of the legend of the pioneer days… Mary Gilmore’s significance is both literary and historical… She wrote too much (often on ephemeral trivia) and too hastily, but her best verse…are among the permanent gems of Australian poetry. As patriot, feminist, social crusader and folklorist she has now passed into Australian legend.

WH Wilde, Australian Dictionary of Biography


Frontier and pioneer life in Australia. A unique record of life in the second half of the nineteenth century. Mary Gilmore writes not about the cattle barons or the wool kings, but about the battlers – the small farmers and their families, the drovers, the stockmen, the teamsters and the everyday joys and hardships of life in the bush.

Leura Books


The book is out of print, but maybe available in libraries

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