'This English girl will never stick it out,' said one of the bridegroom's friends when Evelyn Evans arrived in Cairns in 1912 to marry Charles Maunsell. She went from a comfortable house near London to an isolated Mount Mulgrave homestead with unlined roof and ant-bed floors. For months in the wet season the station was cut off from the outside world, and more than once in the lonely weeks when the men were away mustering Evelyn Maunsell came near to death from illness or marauding Aborigines.
Hector Holthouse, author of a number of books on Australian history, was born on Queensland's Darling Downs. He became a sugar chemist and spent several years in the north Queensland sugar belt, during which time he became interested in the colourful history of the north. The first of his Australian histories, River of Gold, is an account of the Palmer River Gold Rush.
S'pose I Die is about the same country, after the rush was over and beef had replaced gold as its main export. It is based of Eve Maunsell's written recollections and her conversations with Hector Holthouse about her life in the Mitchell River country and on the Atherton Tableland.