Cider Gums & Currawongs by Gwen Hardstaff | Hardback
Gwen Hardstaff spent much of her childhood at St Patricks Plains in Tasmanian’s Central Highlands. She has happy memories of a time when you made your own fun and learned to live close to and love the natural world. Gwen has assembled a plethora of information about the largely vanished life of the people of the high country – horsemen, shepherds, fur trappers, the people who constructed Tasmania’s revolutionary hydro-electric power schemes and the pioneers who preceded them in this tough but beautiful part of Tasmania. And before Europeans there were the first Tasmanians: the Aboriginal people who for a thousand and more generations moved from coast to high country as the seasons dictated.
It would be easy to think of the plateau as a man’s world, yet women accompanied their menfolk from very early days. These women gave birth, raised families and battled loneliness. They also learned to love the high country with its burning summer sun and winter blizzards.
Gwen has assembled a wealth of photographs and other material and has used it to create a detailed history of the high country up until the 1950s when roads, cars and modern communications brought rapid and permanent lifestyle change.
If you have a family connection to the Central Plateau or if you are a serious historian this is a book you will enjoy. It will come to be recognised as an important part of the Tasmanian historical record.
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