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Marking Time: Australian Women’s Diaries Of The 1920s And 1930s

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Chapter Summary

The dominance of time in Mabel's diary, and her never ending struggle to complete her daily tasks within the limited allocation available to her, provides detailed insight into the nature of domestic work in Australia in the 1930s and the influences of the domestic science movement on women's lives. Using a collection of such diaries written by white, mainly middle-class Australian women during the interwar years, this chapter explores the different renderings of time within them, and argues that an understanding of women's time is integrally linked to the spaces they occupy, the locations they live in and to their biological possibilities. Margo Culley argues that the association of the diary with a place for private thoughts and feelings gathers strength during the nineteenth century. Una and Mabel's comments on gardens raise other issues about women's work and contemporary perceptions of it.

Keywords: Australian women diary; domestic work; interwar years; Mabel's diary; Una's diary; women's life



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