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category: Biography & Autobiography
published: Sep 2020
publisher: UBC Press

Caroline's Dilemma

A Colonial Inheritance Saga

by Bettina Bradbury

tagged: women, historical

Caroline Kearney faced a heartbreaking dilemma. In 1865 she was newly widowed, thirty-one years old, and the mother of six children. She had hoped her husband would leave his sheep station in Victoria, Australia to her sons. Instead, his will required that the family move to Ireland and live in a house chosen by her brothers-in-law. Pieced together from archives, newspapers, genealogical sites, and legal records, Caroline’s Dilemma sheds new light on colonial family and gender relationships of the nineteenth century and tells the story of how one woman fought to shape her own life within the British Empire.

About the Author

Bettina Bradbury

Contributor Notes

Bettina Bradbury spent her academic career in Canada teaching at Université de Montréal and York University. A long-time member of the Montreal History Group and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, she is the award-winning author of Wife to Widow: Lives, Laws, and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Montreal and Working Families: Age, Gender, and Daily Survival in Industrializing Montreal. She has retired to Wellington, New Zealand, where she grew up.

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