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Ida Leeson, A Life/Martin, Sylvia/Paper/1741148502/S030-F
Allen & Unwin
Ida Leeson was no ordinary librarian.
The first woman to be appointed Mitchell Librarian, in 1932, after a very public controversy over whether it was appropriate to appoint a woman to such a senior position, Ida Leeson was a girl from a working class background who successfully penetrated the bourgeoisie to become a woman of achievement in what was still predominantly a man's world.
A diminutive, forceful and vibrant woman, Ida resists any easy classification. In what we now acknowledge to be a heroic period of Australian writing and publishing, Ida became a trailblazer for women, for librarians, and a champion of the lively literary culture of Australia in the 1930s and 1940s. She was friendly with many of the leading literary figures of the time, such as James McAuley, Christopher Brennan, Marjorie Barnard, Flora Eldershaw and most notably Miles Franklin, for whom she was a kind of honorary proof-reader and literary advisor. She was also a close friend of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, and for some time both Ida and her partner, Florence Birch, lived as part of the bohemian enclave the Griffins established around them at Castlecrag.
Brought to vivid life by Sylvia Martin, here is the story of a woman to inspire a new generation of readers - hers was a truly remarkable life in an intriguing era.