Mumma’s Boarding House
Life, Laughter and Lodgers in 1930s Australia
by Shirley Ball
Illustrated by Eva Wickenberg
Rigby, 1978, [First Edition], ISBN 0727006479, black and white line drawings in text, illustrated title page, hardcover, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, some edge and shelf wear, some rubbing and bumping to edges and corners, no inscriptions, dustjacket shows a little edge and shelf wear with a little rubbing to edges and corners, minor crumpling to jacket, sticker residue on front (see photographs)
“Muma, Landlady of a Brisbane boarding house during the Depression, ruled her boarders with a gentle discipline and an ever ready sense of humour. She was the central point around which business and family affairs revolved, while Dada, flamboyant and erratic – ‘a sprinter, not a stayer’ – added spice to life with a series of spasmodic endeavours in which good intention and indifferent execution were strangely mingled.
Shirley Ball was their daughter, and in this book she recalls childhood days in Prahran, her mother’s residence, with affection and nostalgia. Around her came and went a strange and wonderful collection of boarders, for this was the time of the dole, and man who had no other home sought shelter under Prahran’s welcoming roof. Buskers, ‘ladies of the night’, chimney sweeps, dancing masters, and genteel widows all at one time or another occupied Muma’s ‘rooms to let’. Some of these people were drifters, staying only for weeks or days; but many became permanent residents and much-loved friends, bound to Muma and her family by ties as strong as those of blood relationship.
Muma’s Boarding House takes us through a period of Australian history that is rich in memory for many. Life was less complicated and perhaps more rewarding in those days, for the sense of community was strong.”