An Australian Girl in London, first published in 1902, is an endearing look at the journey of self-discovery that many young women of means made to the heart of Empire around the time of Federation. Its author, Louise Mack, a friend and rival of Ethel Turner, captures the experience of a provincial young woman immersing herself in the epic metropolis of London – its hard urban edges, and the challenges it poses for colonial talent, but also its rich history and culture.

In Louise Mack’s An Australian Girl in London, Sylvia Leighton embarks on an increasingly familiar narrative in turn-of-the-century Australian fiction, travelling to England to establish herself in a country she has long dreamed of visiting. Fellow Australian Emmie Jones joins her, and the two girls share a boarding house and a very close bond.

Mack’s novel describes their ambitions and expectations and tracks their complicated fates as they try to settle in London.

A crucial but neglected novel in the early history of Australian women’s writing, An Australian Girl in London dramatises the unique pressures facing young women abroad in the immediate aftermath of Federation.

This edition includes an introduction by Sarah Pope.

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$24.95 (incl. GST)
Format: PB
Extent: 192
ISBN: 9780987625342
Release date: 22 May 2018


‘People express various opinions of this book. Some call it delightful, others describe it as utter rubbish’

—‘Our Sunbeam Bookshelf’, Evening Journal, 21 March 1903

‘She has done the work with such brightness and vivacity that every one who reads her book will wish that they had met the writer’

—W. Pett Ridge, ‘First Impressions of Town’, The English Illustrated Magazine, October 1902–March 1903