Audrey Tennyson’s Vice-Regal Days
The Australian Letters of Audrey Lady Tennyson to her mother Zacyntha Boyle, 1899-1903
Edited by Alexandra Hasluck
National Library of Australia, 1978, [First Edition], ISBN 0642991154, black and white photographic plates, decorated endpapers, hardcover, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, a little edge and shelf wear, dustjacket shows a little edge and shelf wear with a little rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, small chips and tears, previous owners inscription to front endpaper, half-title page and title page (see photographs)
“”There goes the nicest woman we have ever had in Melbourne!” The subject of this overheard tribute was Audrey Lady Tennyson, leaving Australia at the end of 1903 after five years of vice-regal life as wife of a Governor of South Australia, Hallam Lord Tennyson, who in 1902 had become acting Governor-General. That the Tennysons were well like is evident from contemporary reports. The reasons why become clear to us now from a series of Audrey Tennyson’s letters to her mother in London, which vividly recall what Australia was like at the turn of the century, as seen from a privileged position by a lively, sympathetic, not uncritical observer.
Audrey wrote 262 letters to her mother from Australia’ intimate, spontaneous, full of description and even reported dialogue. They are a headlong mixture of public and private concerns. The patriotic fervours of the Boer War, the events of Federation, the death of beloved Queen Victoria and the visit of the staff-stealing Duke and Duchess of York are mingled with crises of the household, the writer’s determination to build a maternity home in Adelaide despite the hostility of local doctors, her anxiety over an affair between her sons’ tutor and their French governess.”