This was my second visit to Monte Cristo in six months. It’s a Victorian homestead on the outskirts of Junee (NSW) and is said to be the most haunted house in Australia. And this time we had it all to ourselves!
So many horrible things have happened in its history (e.g. the hole in the wall in the last picture is where the housekeeper’s son was kept chained in the dairy).
My first home when I lived in London was at the top of a 17th century building that was built on top of a 13th century crypt. Being in that building alone at night is the sort of thing that might make you believe in ghosts!
The Church of England Primary School in the village of Harby in Leicestershire, England opened on the 25th of March, 1861.
Part of the National Society for Promoting Religious Education, an organisation formed to promote education in England and Wales before the government began to regulate the school system, the building was constructed in 1860. It had two classrooms, and living accommodations for the teacher.
Readers in the United States: The Landowner’s Secret, the first book in my Brindabella Secrets series, is on sale for $0.99 until the 29th of March!
New South Wales, 1885
When Alice Ryan wakes to find thugs surrounding her cottage, on the hunt for her no-good brother, she escapes into the surrounding bush.
It is wealthy landowner Robert Farrer who finds her the next morning, dishevelled, injured, and utterly unwilling to share what she knows. With criminals on the loose and rumours that reckless bushrangers have returned to the area, Robert is determined to keep Alice out of danger, and insists on taking her into his home-despite the scandal it may cause. Convincing her to stay on with him for her own safety, however, is going to take some work.
What Robert doesn’t expect is his growing attraction to the forthright, unruly woman staying in his home. Before either of them can settle into their odd new situation, their home and wellbeing come under threat and they will need to trust each other to survive. But they are both keeping secrets, secrets that have the potential to ruin their burgeoning love, their livelihood … and their lives.
Between 1932 and 1933 Soviet authorities confiscated the food and crops of millions of ethnic Ukrainians, deliberately starving them to death. A similar genocide was also committed in Kazakhstan, where 42% of the ethnic population was killed and replaced with Russian colonists.
Unlike the Holocaust, there was very limited Western media coverage of the Holodomor, despite conservative estimates putting Ukraine’s death toll on par with it, and other estimates putting it even higher. This was because prominent journalists were either friends of Stalin or communists themselves, and they refused to report on it.
Amongst these genocide deniers was The New York Times’Walter Duranty, while Welsh reporter Gareth Jones risked his life to get the truth out.
The story, about a “thumb-sized” girl who goes on an adventure involving toads, birds, and a mole, and who then meets a miniature prince, wasn’t well-received at the time because it didn’t teach any morals.
The first English translation of the book was completed by Mary Howitt in the 1840s.
Usually omitted from English versions of the story, Andersen’s original featured a bluebird telling the story to Andersen himself. The bird had been in love with Thumbelina, and was heartbroken when she married the prince.