Riders of Time

By Mabel Brookes & Harold Freedman


Dame Mabel Brookes’ memories encompass nearly the whole of ‘European’ Australian history. Her grandmother, whom she remembers vividly, landed in Sydney in the early part of the nineteenth century.

The author looks back over events large and small which have gone to make up the Australian nation as it is today. Dame Mabel Brookes has known personally, or has heard her grandmother speak of so many famous figures of the past – Governor King, Batman, La Trobe, Rolf Boldrewood, Alfred Deakin, sir John Monash, and many more besides.

The book contains unforgettable sketches: of the two bushrangers who broke into her grandmother’s house and were later hanged, their effigies clad in her grandfather’s stolen clothes, on show in Melbourne; of her grandmother’s tea parties with Inspector Hare, the man who finally caught Ned Kelly, and the author’s life long friendship with Dame Nellie Melba.

She ends the book at the time of the first world war when she was a Red Cross helper with the Australian forces in the Middle East.

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