'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 9 September 2011

Jackie French History Lecture

I had the most wonderful experience last night at the Annual Dymphna Clark Lecture run by Manning Clark House at the National Museum of Australia here in Canberra. Jackie French was presenting their annual lecture - speaking on her history writing processes, with the central theme of History as Cliché.

Not only is Jackie a goldmine of fascinating historical information that she can whip out from her knowledge bank faster than Google, she is an engaging and passionate speaker - whose love of history - and of her country, is absolutely inspirational.

Jackie brought tears to my eyes when talking of her writing and researching processes for such books as Nanberry: Black Brother White, The Goat Who Sailed the World and Simpson's Donkey.

She also spoke of this: when it comes to history, we don't know what we don't know. The more we explore the amazing accomplishments of our past, the more we realise there is to learn, and it's often the smallest things that lead to the greatest discovery.

Jackie also spoke of the importance of recognising and reading the land when it comes to understanding and appreciating history, for it is the land that shapes mankind and his destiny. Participants certainly left feeling uplifted, enlightened and inspired. If you ever have the chance to hear Jackie speak, don't miss it.