… Golden lights touched the pale-iced cream-piled splendour of the cakes, and the little green jade tea-cups gave an odd clear note to the dim brown-gold gloom. But strangest of all were the little old ladies themselves. The light brushed heavy coiled white hair, sparse grey locks, tight-screwed, little decorous black frills, little tightly held black hand-bags, little bowed shoulders, and old shoulders rigidly straight. It lit withered lips and sharpley gleaming black eyes and more gentle glances of faded blue; and they chirruped together like so many strange small birds, preparing for migratory flight; which after all they were; for all the long pageant of life was behind them, with its fruit blossom of youth, its storms, its agony, its splendor of noon, and they were left just a little while to chirrup in the gold sunset.' ‘The Singing Gold’ Dorothy Cottrell.
It is difficult to find a way to write about a regional literary culture. One of the advantages of using a web platform is that it allows different forms for collecting information and flexible pathways by which it might be represented as a range of stories which answer to different needs and expectations.
Some users, however, will want a more traditional account which tries to explain in some detail the historical relationships between this place and the writing in which it has been imagined.
This History section therefore attempts to describe some of the key events and features of different periods in Toowoomba's literary history by chronicling some of the more significant writers, books, institutions and themes as well as to think through some of the issues which arise when trying to account for them in the form of a connected story.
It is divided into eight sections:
- A Question of Regionalism
- First Peoples and the Space of Empire
- Settler Invaders
- On Our Selections
- The Ladies Literary Society
- Local Girls Made Good
- Community and the Search for Self