"Henry Lawson was Australia's bush bard, a revered cultural icon, yet he descended into alcoholism, poverty and an early death. Many blamed his young wife, Bertha, for his personal and creative decline. And yet in April 1903, Bertha Lawson alleged in an affidavit that her husband was habitually drunk and cruel, leading her eventually to demand a judicial separation. In A Wife's Heart, Kerrie Davies provides a rare account of this tumultuous relationship from Bertha's perspective. Reproducing their letters - some of which have never been published - Davies takes us from the Lawsons' courtship, marriage and separation to Bertha's struggles as a single parent. While evoking a time when women's rights were advancing considerably, Davies also weaves in her own personal history to show how the emotions and challenges of marriage and single parenthood have remained the same. A Wife's Heartoffers an intimate portrait of the Lawsons' marriage, examined through a modern lens. It is an innovative, imaginative work of biography that reflects on the politics of relationships and the enduring complexities of love."
Publication Date: 03-Apr-2017
Publisher: University of Queensland Press