Congratulations to Philip Butterss, whose biography of CJ Dennis, An Unsentimental Bloke, won the National Biography Award of Australia on Monday. A battered old copy of CJ Dennis’s Sentimental Bloke sat on my family’s shelf when I was a child, and my unsuccessful efforts to read it immunised me against him, perhaps rather unfairly. Continue reading
I’m an admirer of Julia Baird, host of ABC TV’s The Drum. She has taken on the powerful Sydney Anglicans over their attitude toward women more effectively than most. She is an interesting and balanced presenter, quick-witted and incisive. If she shares the political affiliation of her brother (NSW’s premier) and her father (a former federal MP), maybe there’s hope yet for that party. She’s also a biographer. I read that The Drum gig is what she’s doing because she used up her advance on her long-awaited biography of Queen Victoria.