Restless Dolly Maunder by  Kate Grenville

Restless Dolly Maunder

Kate Grenville

A small farm in Australia, late 19th century – a bad time and place to be born a clever woman. Dolly, based on Grenville’s grandmother, wants to be a teacher but her father forbids it which frustrates Dolly her whole life. Her bitterness is understandable but sadly it becomes a burden for her children. Nevertheless I admired her resilience. She died disillusioned but her sacrifice made it easier for her daughter to follow her ambition.


There was a dark nothing where pupil-teaching had been. She didn't want to look at it. Lived night and day with the great lump of sorrow in her chest for the thing she wanted, the thing she ought to have, the thing she was made for: being in a schoolroom, the faces of the children turned towards her, explaining something so they understood it. On those dawn mornings she wanted to stay under the blanket, turn her face to the wall, watch the splinters do nothing, the way she was doing nothing, her self shrunk down to something lifeless.

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