Tall, handsome, bookish

Judith Brett’s The Enigmatic Mr Deakin (Text) is a biography of our second prime minister, one of the founding fathers who should perhaps be more prominent in our cultural consciousness. Deakin was a tall, handsome Melburnian, an intelligent chatterbox who charmed most people he came across, and one of our greatest orators – often extemporary. But he humbly rode his bike to his prime ministerial office, was daydreamily bookish and prone to despondency. He was deeply spiritual, hungering for God’s guiding presence in his life, seeking ethical outlets for his faith, but also caught up in the fad of the times, spiritualism, attending séances and consulting fortune tellers. With Edmund Barton, he was instrumental in the federation of Australia, and this book is a window into a time of growth and democratisation, of shifting allegiances towards the common benefit of nationhood.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s