Jean Galbraith: writer in a valley

Meredith Fletcher
Published by Monash University Publishing in association with the State Library of Victoria
Paperback 306 pages illustrated ISBN 9781922235398; 9781922235404 (ePub)

As a garden writer, Jean Galbraith was notable for disseminating knowledge of Australian flora and encouraging the cultivation of native rather than imported exotic plants in home gardens. As a botanist, she wrote accessible field guides to Australian wildflowers that made a vital contribution to the conservation of native plants. As a children’s writer, she conveyed the wonders of nature to generations of youngsters through her child-centred stories of adventures in the natural world.

During a writing career that began in the mid-1920s and spanned 70 years, Jean developed new forms of garden writing in Australia and turned botanical writing into a literary art. Her nature writing evoked the spirit of places she knew well, and introduced readers to the beauty of the Australian bush.

Along with looking at the life of a gifted writer who had a passion for nature, and an urge to share and conserve the beauty around her, this book also explores the relationship between writer and place. From her home in Gippsland, inspired by her surroundings, Jean Galbraith put her vision of nature into words and helped Australians of all ages to see their own landscapes in new ways.

Meredith Fletcher is a historian specialising in environmental, local and community history. For 20 years she was director of the Centre for Gippsland Studies at Monash University Gippsland Campus. She is now an adjunct research fellow at the School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Monash University.

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