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We of the Never-Never

Jeannie Gunn

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .But preparations for a week's journey take time, outbush, owing to that necessity of beginning at the beginning of things. Fresh horses were mustered, a mob of bullocks rounded up for a killer, swags and pack-bags packed; and just as all was in readiness for the start, the Quiet Stockman came in, bringing a small mob of colts with him.

"I'm leaving," he announced in the Quarters; then, feeling some explanation was necessary, added, "I WAS thinking of it before this happened." Strictly speaking, this may be true, although he omitted to say that he had abandoned the idea for some little time.

No one was surprised, and no one thought of asking what had happened, for Jack had always steered clear of women, as he termed it. Not that he feared or disliked them, but because he considered that they had nothing in common with men. "They're such terrors for asking questions," he said once, when pressed for an opinion, adding as an afterthought, "They nev. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I did enjoy this book, and the fact that it is autobiographical is amazing (I had to keep reminding myself of this). To be a lone white woman moving into the Never Never with mostly stockmen for company and hundreds of miles from the nearest city was arduous. And this was in the days before telec...more

To get the most out of this book, you really have to take yourself out of the modern world and put yourself in the shoes of Mrs Aeneas Gunn (Jeannie Gunn)as a young bride at the beginning of the 20th Century in Outback Australia. See the world through her eyes and you will see the wonder of the '...more

I had already read this book many years ago but somehow I had forgotten how sad the ending is! To have so much for just fourteen months and then have to return to Melbourne alone to pick up the pieces of her former life. It must have been really hard.

Anyway, I enjoyed this memoir from 1902, when...more

It was 1902 and with the “little Missus” being told she shouldn’t be joining her husband when he ventured to the homestead, “The Elsey” in the Never Never of the Northern Territory because a white woman didn’t belong, the determination of them both to go saw them on board a train from Darwin. Onc...more

One of the things I tried to do for this challenge was to read a number of books I have been meaning to read for some time. We of the Never Never was one such book. Because it is an Australian classic from the early 20th century, I expected to find parts of it confronting, and in that, I was not...more

This book paints a vivid picture of a time and a place in Australia’s outback history.

From the outset, a melancholy air hangs over We of the Never-Never. As the author herself tells us in her “Prelude”: All of Us shared each other’s lives for one bright, sunny year, away Behind the Back of Beyond, in the Land of the Never-Never…a land of dangers and hardships and privations yet lo...more

It's an Australian classic. Jeannie Gunn recounts her 15 month stint in a remote cattle property in the Northern Territory during 1902-1903. She has a whimsical manner and her names for the people she meets is a highlight - The Sanguine Scot, The Dandy, Mine Host, the Quiet Stockman. It's a harsh...more

This is a challenging book to review. It very much reflects the attitudes of the time towards Aboriginal and Chinese people, attitudes which are now unacceptable and hard to read. However, there is also a lot to like about this book. It paints a vivid picture of station life, including the isolat...more

A very enjoyable read mostly because of:

A Beautiful description of the Australian bush

"For a moment we waited, spellbound in the brilliant sunshine; then the dogs running down to the water's edge, the gallahs and cockatoos rose with gorgeous sunrise effect: a floating gray-and-pink cloud, backed...more

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