What a difference a decade makes: Jessie and Mina, the two wives of Queensland premier Sir Robert Philp (1851–1922)

Megarrity, Lyndon, and Megarrity, Lyne (2020) What a difference a decade makes: Jessie and Mina, the two wives of Queensland premier Sir Robert Philp (1851–1922). Australian Journal of Biography and History, 4. pp. 29-52.

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Abstract

My Dear Dorothy,— In spite of the fact that we are well into the middle of April, that we are having cooler weather, and that many of our absentees are returning, Townsville continues as dull as ever; there is not a ball nor private dance even in participation, and the only dinners given lately have been strictly masculine ones, at which we have not been able to have a peep. They have been given for the special purpose of entertaining … Robert Philp, and other celebrities who have been for a few days in town.

As the above quote from an 1889 edition of the Queensland Figaro and Punch implies, Queensland public life in the late nineteenth century often excluded women. Aside from reporting attendance at balls, participation in concerts and the unlucky ones caught in law disputes, the lives of women were not a major theme of the print media of the age. However, as the population grew, and Queensland developed more educational and cultural institutions, a small but increasing group of elite British-Australian women developed a respected place in public life, especially in relation to charitable work. Arguably, this outcome reflected the subtle influence of female suffrage, which encouraged a greater role for women outside the home.

Item ID: 65251
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2209-9573
Keywords: Colonial Women; Queensland history; Colonial history; Brisbane; Townsville; Philp
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Copyright Information: The materials on this website are the copyright of The Australian National University or are reproduced with permission from other copyright owners.
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2020 01:20
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210304 Biography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 50%
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