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'Upstairs in the Battye Library in Perth in 2007, I sat in a darkened room squinting at a microfilm of the sloping copperplate in Captain James Mangles' letter books, which consisted of letters written to him on matters of botany between 1835 and 1845. Mangles was an amateur botanist who had retired from the British navy and lived near Regent's Park, London. One of his correspondents was Georgiana Molloy, who emigrated from Carlisle, England, to Augusta in south-west Western Australia, arriving in 1830. In 1836, Molloy, who knew Mangles' cousin Ellen Stirling, wife of the governor of Perth, received a letter and box of English seeds from Mangles, with the request that she return it to him filled with Australian seeds. Molloy protested, 'I fear you have bestowed your liberality on one whose chief pleasure is her Garden but who does not enter the lists as a florist, much less a Botanist', however she agreed to collect specimens when she had time. I had read extracts of Molloy's letters in a biography written by Alexandra Hasluck, Portrait with Background (1955), but this was the first time I had seen them in their entirety.' (Publication abstract)

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    y Island no. 135 Summer 2013 7117598 2013 periodical issue 2013
Last amended 11 Mar 2014 12:01:52
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