Mary Gilmore's Quest for Love and Utopia at the World's End.
A remarkable true story of an Australian icon and of a bizarre social experiment.
A century ago, in a bizarre social experiment, a band of 500 ordinary Australians sailed out to found a socialist Utopia in Paraguay. One of them was a red-headed schoolteacher - the intrepid Mary Cameron. In a remarkable blend of biography and travel writing Anne Whitehead follows in her footsteps and brings to life a testing time spent in one of the harshest places on earth.
Mary Cameron was self-confident, an aspirant writer and feminist - but she also took with her white muslin for a wedding dress; and she married a near illiterate shearer, William Gilmore. Their socialist dream foundered before very long and they had to earn their passage home with their baby son - through the impossibly remote country communities of Paraguay and the vast estancias of Argentina to Patagonia, the "end of the earth" made famous by Darwin and Bruce Chatwin.
Anne Whitehead brilliantly counterpoints her own wanderings with Mary's. After seven years in South America the Gilmores sailed home. Poet and national icon, Mary Gilmore's portrait now graces the Australian $10 note.