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Australian Heroines of World War One
Gallipoli, Lemnos and the Western Front
Susanna de Vries
9781742983509
2013-08-31
A$9.99
Pirgos Press

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Australian Heroines of World War One tells the story of eight courageous women through diaries, letters, original photos, paintings and specially drawn maps. These women had the courage and strength for which the Anzacs are renowned and the compassion and tenderness that only a woman can bring.
Sister Hilda Samsing from Melbourne became a whistleblower when nursing aboard the hospital ship Gascon, outraged by the bungled evacuation of wounded Anzacs. She defied censorship and kept a very frank diary, reproduced here for the first time.
In 1914, Louise Creed, a Sydney journalist, was caught in the besieged city of Antwerp and made a hair-raising escape from a German firing squad.
Brisbane's Grace Wilson, ordered to establish an emergency hospital on drought ridden Lemnos Island, arrived there to find suffering Anzacs but no drinking water, tents or medical supplies. Grace and her nurses saved the lives of thousands who had been wounded at Lone Pine and the Nek.
In France, Florence James-Wallace, Anne Donnell and Elsie Tranter nursed near the front line in Casualty Clearing Stations, treating soldiers with hideous wounds or blinded by mustard gas. In 1918 they had to deal with an epidemic of Spanish flu, killing some nurses. These brave women returned to Australia but their heroism was quickly forgotten. Two of these women received such meagre pensions they died destitute.
Publication of this book with its numerous illustrations has been facilitated by a generous donation from Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, keen that these stories become known to Australians of all ages.
This is an updated editon with additional information on some of the nurses supplied by their relatives after they read the first edition.


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Blue Ribbons Bitter Bread
Joice Loch - Australia's Most Heroic Woman
Susanna de Vries
9781925281798
2017-04-01
A$9.99
Pirgos Press

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This unforgettable story has become an Australian classic describing how an Australian bush girl saved the lives of 1,000 Polish and Jewish children in a daring escape from the Nazis. This updated edition contains an important eye-witness account of the burning of Smyrna (Izmir) causing a vast number of deaths. The author's father, a young British naval officer, saved hundreds of Greeks from the blaze that destroyed their beautiful city and many of them would be cared for by Joice Loch in a Greek refugee camp and later in the refugee village of Ouranoupolis, now a holiday resort.
Joice Loch was an extraordinary Australian. She had the inspired courage that saved many hundreds of Jews and Poles in World War II, the compassion that made her a self-trained doctor to tens of thousands of refugees, the incredible grit that took her close to death in several theatres of war, and the dedication to truth and justice that shone forth in her own books and a lifetime of astonishing heroism.
Born in a cyclone in 1887 on a Queensland sugar plantation she grew up in grinding poverty in Gippsland and emerged from years of unpaid drudgery by writing a children's book and freelance journalism. In 1918 she married Sydney Loch, author of a banned book on Gallipoli. After a dangerous time in Dublin during the Troubles, they escaped from possible IRA vengeance to work with the Quakers in Poland. There they rescued countless dispossessed people from disease and starvation and risked death themselves.
In 1922 Joice and Sydney went to Greece to aid the 1,500,000 refugees fleeing Turkish persecution. Greece was to become their home. They lived in an ancient tower by the sea in the shadows of Athos, the Holy Mountain, and worked selflessly for decades to save victims of war, famine and disease.
During World War II, Joice Loch was an agent for the Allies in Eastern Europe and pulled off a spectacular escape to snatch over a thousand Jews and Poles from death just before the Nazis invaded Bucharest, escorting them via Constantinople to Palestine.
By the time she died in 1982 she had written ten books, saved many thousands of lives and was one of the world's most decorated women. At her funeral the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Oxford named her 'one of the most significant women of the twentieth century.'
This classic Australian biography is a tribute to one of Australia's most heroic women, who always spoke with great fondness of Queensland as her birthplace. In 2006, a Loch Memorial Museum was opened in the tower by the sea in Ouranoupolis, a tribute to the Lochs and their humanitarian work.


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Royal Marriages
Diana, Camilla, Kate & Meghan and princesses who did not live happily ever after
Susanna de Vries
9781925283648
2018-10-01
A$9.99
Pirgos Press

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Those who enjoyed the TV series The Crown will enjoy this entertaining and well-researched book which fills in the background to centuries of arranged royal marriages and the arcane rules that governed them. For centuries marriages of princes could only take place to virginal Protestant princesses. Most were unhappy, royal wives were seen as baby factories (as Princess Diana observed). What mattered was the virginity of the bride so that she did not go to the altar bearing another man's child who would inherit The Crown, the symbol of hereditary monarchy.
 
Most kings and princes took mistresses - or, in the cases of King Edward II and James I, male lovers - while siring sons by their wives to continue the royal line of Tudors, Stuarts, and Hanoverians who when fighting the Germans changed their name to Windsor.
 
Queen Elizabeth II, as head of the Anglican Church, had the difficult task of denying her sister, Princess Margaret, the right to marry the divorced war hero she loved. Prince Charles having seen his uncle abdicate because he could not marry an American divorcee, knew proposing to Camilla who lacked a title was impossible. His tragic mismatch to the virginal teenage Lady Diana Spencer ended in Camillagate and other scandals. After Diana's tragic death, after ignoring Camilla who was living with Charles the Queen allowed her heir to marry the woman he loved as crowning a king with a mistress would have been impossible.
 
The Queen's grandsons were also allowed to marry for love. Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William has adapted brilliantly to royal duties combined with motherhood and the public believe she will make an admirable queen. Prince Harry's love match to a divorced bi-racial American actress would have had his royal ancestors turning in their graves, but stylish hard working Meghan Markle has proved herself so popular in her role as Duchess of Sussex beside her husband the Queen has commended her.


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Royal Mistresses of the House of Hanover-Windsor
Secrets, Scandals and Betrayals
Susanna de Vries
9781742982694
2013-01-16
A$9.99
Pirgos Press

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The genuine love match between Prince William and Kate Middleton has rekindled enthusiasm for the British monarchy. In the past, young princes reluctantly entered into arranged marriages and took mistresses. Perdita Robinson, a famous actress, was enticed from the stage with promises of money to live with the fickle Prince of Wales, who turned her and her child onto the street. Perdita fought back, won a financial settlement and became a pioneer of women's writing.
 
Edward VII's most fascinating mistresses were aristocrats' wives like the multi-talented unconventional Lady Jennie Churchill, mother of Winston, and the headstrong heiress, Daisy, Countess of Warwick, mother of one of Edward's love children. Beautiful Alice Keppel became the love of Edward's life and was the great-grandmother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, yet another royal mistress.
 
Edward's grandson, Edward VIII suffered an attack of mumps that left him physically and mentally immature. He implored Mrs Freda Dudley Ward to elope but she refused. Another mistress, Lady Thelma Furness, star of Hollywood's silent screen, introduced Edward to the domineering Wallis Simpson who insisted the impotent king seek psychiatric help. In order that Wallis could look like a queen the Duke of Windsor lavished her with jewels and forgave her infidelities in this most intriguing of all royal stories.


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To the Ends of the Earth
Mary Gaunt, Pioneer Traveller
Susanna de Vries
9781742984070
2014-03-12
A$9.99
Pirgos Press

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Travel writer, explorer and novelist.
'Gaunts never give up', the motto of Mary's ancestor, Prince John of Gaunt (1340-1399) was quoted by Mary's father, William Gaunt, to his children.
In the 1880s, Mary Gaunt was one of the first women admitted to Melbourne University. Miss Gaunt's desire to study law was denied since male academics believed women incapable of studying 'difficult' subjects. In 1909, Mary, now widowed, led her own expedition into the West African jungle, staying in remote villages to gather information for her book 'Alone in West Africa'. In 1913, in the absence of sealed roads, Mary travelled in a bone-shaking mule cart from Peking to the edge of the Gobi desert and returned to Europe on a Russian troop train. Her amazing experiences in China and Russia produced two more travel books. Mary donated her royalties to the Red Cross to help Belgian refugees. For many years she lived in Italy and, during World War Two, died in France.
Prelude: Outwitting Mussolini
1. 'Gaunts never give up'
2. Encountering prejudice at university
3. Finding Doctor Right
4. Mary postpones a visit to China
5. Africa - the 'Dark Continent'
6. Heading a band of naked warriors
7. 'Madame, you have the heart of a lion'
8. 'Murder Hill' and German Togoland
9. Black magic among the Ashanti
10. The male dinosaurs of LondonĂ­s RGS
11. Through Tsarist Russia to Peking
12. Inside the walls of the Forbidden City
13. A political assassination
14. The Great Wall of China
15. 'Behind every small foot is a jar of tears'
16. Chengde and the hunting palace of the Manchu
17. The temple of the Three Mountains
18. 'Please keep your last bullet for yourself'
19. Last days in China
20. Exploring the Amur River and Saghalien
21. On a troop train through Siberia
22. St Petersburg and after
23. Captured by Germans
24. The Gaunts in wartime
25. The final years of a cosmopolitan author


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Trailblazers
Caroline Chisholm to Quentin Bryce
Susanna de Vries
9781925280197
2015-04-01
A$9.99
Pirgos Press

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Caroline Chisolm's hard work and determination changed the history of female migration to Australia and ensured better conditions for families on migrant ships and offered them paid work.
Eliza Hawkins was a trailblazer, surviving a dangerous journey as the first European woman to cross the Blue Mountains to Bathurst, travelling by horse and cart.
Mary Gaunt from Ballarat dared to lead her own expeditions in West Africa and China, travelling from Peking to the edge of the Gobi desert in a mule cart and became a very popular travel writer and novelist.
Hilda Rix Nicholas fought for women painters to be taken seriously and held successful exhibitions in France and Britain, before returning to Australia to paint superb images of rural life in the Monaro.
Sister Anne Donnell was one of the first nurses to volunteer in World War One. Her letters made her famous, recounting the sufferings of Anzacs in a military hospital on Lemnos, where British administrative bungles kept the nurses and their patients short of sheets, bandages and drinking water.
Nell Tritton from Brisbane became personal assistant and translator to handsome Alexander Kerensky, the reformist Russian Prime Minister who was later deposed by Lenin. As Madame Kerensky she helped him escape assassins sent by Stalin. As the Nazis advanced on Paris Nell used her own money to purchase forged Spanish visas so her husband's Russian-Jewish employees and their families could escape from the invading Nazis.
Louise Mack worked in Tuscany and became the world's first female war correspondent in German-occupied Belgium. She wrote a bestselling war memoir and donated her royalties to help Belgian war victims before returning to Sydney, where she married an Anzac veteran.
Margaret Ogg and Vida Goldstein were ridiculed when they dared to claim that women were intelligent enough to sit in Parliament. Enid Lyons, mother of twelve, became Australia's first Cabinet Minister, but it took another 50 years for Julia Gillard to become Australia's first female Prime Minister.
A lawyer by profession, mother and grandmother, Dame Quentin Bryce blazed a trail for women by becoming Australia's first female Governor-General. After leaving office she returned to her home state of Queensland where she now heads a programme designed to combat domestic violence.

 

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