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Brenda Niall has turned her biographer’s eye to a personal subject—her grandmother, Aggie. She tells the story of a fiercely independent and intelligent woman who braved a new country as a single woman, teaching in a country school, before marrying a Riverina grazier, whose large powerful family was wary of the newcomer with ideas of her own.
Aggie dealt with hardships and loneliness after the early and drawn-out death of her husband, and brought up her seven children to be happy—all with a calm determination. But it was the memory box and her longing for the sea that captured the imagination of her granddaughter.
‘Brenda Niall’s Mannix is the most wise, shrewd and elegant biography yet produced of this complex and beguiling man. Niall’s irresistible prose strengthens the candour of this fine book.’
‘Brenda Niall has written perceptively about the different but complementary personalities of Mary and Elizabeth Durack. She has done the two sisters proud in this splendid and informative work.’
‘Brenda Niall, the distinguished biographer of the novelist Martin Boyd and author of a swag of other books, has written a fond and fluent life of Mannix that captures the crispness and the passion, the humour and the enigma of the man who meddled with politics like a master magician.’
‘An affectionate tribute to someone who quietly but firmly shaped her own place in the world.’