Rosa! Rosa!: a Life of Rosa Praed, Novelist & Spiritualist
Melbourne University Press
Publication Date :
1 Jan 1995
Rosa Praed (1851-1935) was a prolific author and 'a most unusual woman'. Born into frontier Queensland at a time when settlers lived in isolation, afraid of Aboriginal attacks, she was to spend her adult life in the literary, artistic and political circles of London. As a young woman, moving in the squattocracy circles of Brisbane, and later in London, as a member of Oscar Wilde's bohemia, Rosa kept notes of the characters and conversations around her. Her forty-five books show evidence of her keen and intelligent observation. While Rosa's most successful works were set in Australia, her literary subjects were varied, and reflect many aspects of her lifeandmdash;her interest in women's rights; her own unhappy marriage; and, of course, her search for spiritual meaning. On this search she gathered up Aboriginal dreaming, Catholicism, astrology, spiritual mediums, the supernatural and reincarnationandmdash;and finally discovered her twin soul. Rosa's story is a rich and dramatic one, full of psychological interest. In Rosa! Rosa!, Patricia Clarke shows how she managed her amazing output in the midst of family problems, marital woes, illness more frequent with the years, and a constant changing of 'homes'. With this brilliant analysis of Praed's life, Patricia Clarke offers a new and original evaluation of her place in the history of Australian women.