Enid Lyons

Enid Lyons : Leading Lady to a Nation

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This is the story of an extraordinary woman-mother of 12, Premier's wife, Prime Minister's wife, a Dame, then a popular politician in her own right, Australia's first female cabinet minister, radio broadcaster, newspaper columnist, author of three books, ABC Commissioner.Born to a struggling but aspirational timber family in Tasmania, Enid was married at seventeen to a man aged twice her age. This was the Irish Catholic Joe Lyons, a State Treasurer and Education Minister who would become a popular PM by leaving the ALP to lead the conservatives!Enid Lyons regarded herself as "feminist" but was also conservative. She was a pacifist and a Fabian reformer underneath her conservative outlook on families and moral life. Enid could be strong on principle but also surprisingly tolerant. She had views on mothering that were ahead of their time. It is said woman can't have family and apolitical career, but Enid Lyons had it all, in spades. But this was at great personal cost.The story of Joe and Enid Lyons is full of dramatic extremes and through their intimate letters a passionate love story is revealed.
Anne Henderson has also uncovered new information which indicates a long hidden family secret. There will be controversy over this-and much interest.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 155 x 236 x 28mm | 574g
  • Annandale, Australia
  • colour ill.
  • 0980292492
  • 9780980292497

About Anne Henderson

Anne Henderson has been Deputy Director of The Sydney Institute and editor of The Sydney Papers since 1989. Anne is the author of From All Corners: Six Migrant Stories (Allen & Unwin, 1993), Educating Johannah: A Year in Year 12 (Allen & Unwin, 1995), Mary MacKillop's Sisters: A Life Unveiled (HarperCollins, 1997), Getting Even: Women MPs on Life, Power and Politics (HarperCollins 1999), The Killing of Sister Irene McCormack (HarperCollins 2002) and An Angel in The Court - The Life of Major Joyce Harmer (HarperCollins 2005).Among her essays of note are "Dad's Wake" in Fathers: In Writing (Tuart Press, 1997) and the biographical chapter on Prime Minister Joe Lyons for Australian Prime Ministers edited by Michelle Grattan (New Holland 2000) and the UK's New Dictionary of National Biography (OUP). She was a contributing editor with Ross Fitzgerald of Partners (HarperCollins, 1999) and will be a contributor in the forthcoming Growing Old Disgacefully - eds, Ross Fitzgerald & Lyndal Moore (ABC Books 2008).
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