08 September 2009

Corsets and explorers

Compared to all the successful crinolines and corsets in Australia: the "celebrated E.E.E.", Brown's patent dermathistic, Queen Bess, the Duchess, the Ferris Good Sense; and all the lacy but unsuitable shapers copied from European style sheets and sewn by ladies who called themselves something high like Madame Serviette; compared even to the daunting Ironside — it is one of history's tragedies that the only corset designed by an unknown Australian explorer never made a success.

Oliverina Hesperine Woolley never reconciled the failure of her father's "graceful, springy and athletifying" model, the one inspired by their new country and her new toys.

And in fact, if it were not for this toy found washed up on a beach, the Neva Roo from "Marsupiana" would be lost beneath the waves of history.

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