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Spaces in Her Day: Australian Women’s Diaries 1920S-1930s, by Katie Holmes.

April 16, 2012

Spaces in Her Day: Australian Women’s Diaries 1920S-1930s, by Katie Holmes.  Allen & Unwin (1995), 182 pages.

A fine analysis of Australian women’s lives, as revealed in the diaries they kept during the 1920s and 1930s.

Katie Holmes uses diaries to understand how women created lives of order and made their own spaces.  The conceptual tools she creates are ones that could be useful to anyone analyzing women anywhere in any time period.  Women’s life cycles form the major organization of the book.  Within each period, Holmes focuses on a small handful of diaries allowing readers to get to know each woman and her situation and to see her concepts active in actual practice.   The diaries Holmes chooses are from a wide variety of women, each with her own distinctive style and interests.

I highly recommend this book as a pleasure reading experience and as a model for how to analyze women’s lives.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2012 5:43 am

    You sold me on the book! I’ve just requested it from my library. Sounds fascinating.

  2. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out permalink
    May 2, 2012 2:03 am

    Sounds really interesting, I will be sure to keep my eye out for it!

  3. June 12, 2012 10:05 pm

    This book sounds really interesting and reminds me of a book based on the letters written by women in the UK who were mothers called “Maternity”. Hopefully I’ll find and get to read a copy 🙂

    • June 14, 2012 10:29 am

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, it is an interesting book, somewhat like Maternity. The main differences are that the diarists are more varied in every way than the mothers. And instead of reprinting the women’s accounts, Holmes summarizes and discusses them, taking excerpts from serveral women’s diaries on specific topics like family or employment. I hope you can read it. It is very well done.

  4. April 25, 2013 7:54 am

    Somehow I missed this when it came through a year ago … but I’ll say that this is one of my favourite histories. I read it around the time it came out and its story/message is still vivd. I loved the way she organised it.

    • April 26, 2013 5:22 pm

      I found you and your comments on this book on International Women’s Day, 2012. and I am glad to have found you both.

      • April 26, 2013 6:05 pm

        Oh what a lovely connection … Every which way, both directions! Thanks … I’m glad you did too.


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