Judy Crozier - What Empty Things are These

Friday 07 December 2018
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
In store at Avid Reader Bookshop
Register until 07 December 2018 6:00 PM

This event commences at 6.30pm. Printed tickets are not issued and your booking will be on a door list under your surname.

Historian and ex-senior curator at the Queensland Museum, Dr Brian Crozier is in-conversation with Judy Crozier discussing What Empty Things are These.

In 1860s Britain there is nothing unusual in a man beating his wife. When George Hadley’s aggression triggers his own stroke and coma, his wife discovers all she thinks of as hers is to pass to her young son Toby. Adelaide seems as powerless as her ladies’ maid, Sobriety.

Beyond the strictures of domestic and social expectation, these two women of different class remake the rules to discover what lies beneath the drapes and tassels of Victorian Britain. Life, they find, is urgent, exciting… but cheap. Even as they adventure into alleyways, a tunnel and a séance, their innocence is gone.

What Empty Things Are These is about what happens to women who look into the face of this newly industrialized and still patriarchal age. Change is everywhere, exhilarating, corrupt, terrifying. Fraud and farce abound. Spiritualists prey on the confused; women are encased in clothing that imply both modesty and sexuality; the powerful prey upon the weak. Adelaide and Sobriety, in their way, show us that every era has secrets that must be uncovered for real social progress.

But the truth of the age is encapsulated for them, in the underlying tale of the vulnerable urchin girl, the nameless victim of this pitiless society.

Judy Crozier’s early life was a sweep through war-torn South East Asia: Malaysia's ‘Emergency’, Burma's battles with hill tribes, and the war in Vietnam. In Saigon, by nine, Judy had read her way through the British Council Library, including Thackeray. Home in Australia, she picked up journalism, politics, blues singing, home renovation, child-rearing, community work, writing and creative writing teaching, proof reading and editing, and her Master of Creative Writing. She now lives in France.