In Australia in the 1840s, the lives of two very different women intersect. Ellis MacRorie is shipped to Victoria from her Scottish homeland by her bankrupt father; Leerpeen Weelan, her Aboriginal servant known as Louisa, has lost her tribe in a bloody act of violence. 'That my country, belong to me. Over there. This not my country,' says Louisa. Ellis feels the ache in the words, the longing, and she looks into the distance. She feels something stir within herself too. Memories of the land she has left, of the people. Forced to marry a man she does not love, and isolated from all society, Ellis is resigned to a solitary life on the remote Western District homestead of Strathcarron. After the tragic death of two babies, she is ready is give up altogether. Although Louisa has endured dispossession and the loss of her own family, she becomes a steadfast source of guidance, friendship and strength for Ellis. When the American Romantic landscape painter, sketcher and collector Sanford P. Hart comes to stay at Strathcarron, the two women are transformed forever - in both enriching and devastating measures. One hundred and fifty years later, ambitious assistant curator Cornelia, researching an exhibition on S. P. Hart for the National Gallery of Victoria, makes a remarkable discovery that has the potential to rewrite history. However, it is not Hart's paintings that offer a glimpse into the untold events of nineteenth-century rural Australia, but rather something very rare . . . The Longing is a novel about loss, finding home and the significance of history - what is recorded and what is left unknown.
Number of Pages: 368
Publication Date: 1 Feb 2012
Publisher: Random House Australia
Publication City, Country: Milsons Point, Australia
Dimensions (cm): 23.3(H) x 15.5(L) x 2.7(W)
Weight (gm): 490
Candice has been an art historian, writer and curator for many years. She has worked as a curator at the National Gallery of Australia, Australian National Maritime Museum and Queensland Art Gallery (where she was Curator of Australian Art). She has taught Australian nineteenth century art history at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales. She has published two art history books on the German-Australian Romantic landscape painter Eugene von Guerard, as well as several other art books and many articles in both academic journals and general magazines on Australian art. She was for six years the Senior Research Assistant for the Dictionary of Australian Artists (ed. Joan Kerr, Oxford University Press) and for two years on Heritage (Craftsman Press). Candice has a PhD in Australian Literature from the University of Sydney and was recipient of the Eva Veronika Vidak Memorial Prize for 1997 for best doctoral thesis. She was a specialist consultant for Sotheby's Australia from 1997 to 2009 and writes occasional feature articles on art and architecture for lifestyle magazines. Candice was one of the principal contributors to a catalogue for a major exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria of the work of Eugene von Guerard to mark the bicentenary of his birth. The exhibition will travel to state galleries in Brisbane and Perth and to the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.