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Betty from the Kitchen single work   poetry   satire   "'Treganna House', thou art a fitting theme"
Alternative title: Treganna House
Issue Details: First known date: 1841... 1841 Betty from the Kitchen
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'On the departure for New Zealand of the mistress of this Parramatta girls' school' (Webby)


  • Treganna House was a school for girls in Parramatta run by the Misses Starke. It was advertised in the Sydney Herald (15 January 1838): 1.

    A notice in the Sydney Gazette (7 June 1838): 3, announced a marriage between one of the Misses Starke and Mr H. R. Cretnay.

    On the 23 November 1841 a letter in the Sydney Gazette by 'A Friend to True Talent' deplored the lack of talented teachers for girls in Sydney, 'the greater part are nothing more that nursery governesses, and have as much right or ability to finish a young lady ... as "Betty from the kitchen."' The writer mentions the only able teacher as 'a Miss Stark [sic.], who ... intends leaving for New Zealand'. The letter ends with a P. S. extolling the virtues of Madame de Philipathal who 'intends taking "Treganna House," from Miss Stark [sic]'.(2)

    The Gazette letter elicited responses, a column entitled 'Puff Outrageous' in the Australasian Chronicle (25 November 1841): 2 and an unattributed poem 'Betty from the Kitchen' published on 2 December 1841, as part of a letter to the editor in the Gazette and the Chronicle.

    The letter in the Chronicle is entitled 'Treganna House' whereas it's appearance in the Gazette is untitled and ends with a note from the editor stating that the paper 'shall not insert any more communications upon this subject, unless paid for as advertisements'.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

The poem appears in both sources in an unattributed letter to 'the editor of the Sydney Gazette'.
Last amended 14 Jun 2011 16:05:42
  • Sydney, New South Wales,
  • 1841
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