Women and Intellectual Life in New South Wales - 1835-1868 Ann Rusden




Colonization, mentalities, books, reading


Ann Rusden arrived in the colony of New South Wales in 1834 and was to form part of society on the Hunter River near Newcastle. Her letters allow mapping of her intellectual life in theology, science and politics, and indicate widespread discussion among the women of the valley, separate from men. In Ann’s letters we have access to a colonising mindset where God was unfathomable in his actions, science and literature opened up possibilities, and women’s opinions mattered. 

Author Biography


Dr Paula Jane Byrne is author of Criminal Law and Colonial Subject (Cambridge 1993) and The Diaries and Letters of Ellis Bent (Desert Pea 2012). She has lectured in Australian and Aboriginal History at Macquarie University, Murdoch University, and the Australian National University, and held research positions at Sydney University, ANU and the University of New England. At present, and for a project on Women and Intellectual Life in New South Wales 1830-1880, she is a Visiting Scholar at the State Library of New South Wales. 


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