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Elizabeth Macarthur : A Life at the Edge of the World - Michelle Scott Tucker

Elizabeth Macarthur

A Life at the Edge of the World

Paperback Published: 2nd April 2018
ISBN: 9781925603422
Number Of Pages: 384

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RRP $32.99
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In 1788 a young gentlewoman raised in the vicarage of an English village married a handsome, haughty and penniless army officer. In any Austen novel that would be the end of the story, but for the real-life woman who became an Australian farming entrepreneur, it was just the beginning.

John Macarthur took credit for establishing the Australian wool industry and would feature on the two-dollar note, but it was practical Elizabeth who managed their holdings - while dealing with the results of John’s manias: duels, quarrels, court cases, a military coup, long absences overseas, grandiose construction projects and, finally, his descent into certified insanity.

Michelle Scott Tucker shines a light on an often-overlooked aspect of Australia’s history in this fascinating story of a remarkable woman.

About the Author

Michelle Scott Tucker owns and operates a management consulting company, and lives on a small farm in regional Victoria with her husband and children. Elizabeth Macarthur is her first book.

Industry Reviews

'The triumphs and trials of Elizabeth Macarthur, a capable business woman and dedicated wife and mother, are given their due in this impressively researched biography.' -- Brenda Niall
`An intimate portrait of a woman who changed herself and Australia...Michelle Scott Tucker makes Elizabeth Macarthur step off the page.'
-- David Hunt * Author of GIRT *
'Finally, Elizabeth Macarthur steps out from the long shadow of her infamous, entrepreneurial husband. In Michelle Scott Tucker's devoted hands, Elizabeth emerges as a canny businesswoman, charming diplomat, loving mother and indefatigable survivor. A fascinating, faithful portrait of a remarkable woman and the young, volatile colony she helped to build.'
-- Clare Wright
`In writing this lively, entertaining and profoundly empathetic biography, [Tucker] has also brought other colonial women out of the shadows and told their story too...There are not many biographies or histories of Australia that are unputdownable, but this one is. Highly recommended!' * ANZ LitLovers *
`Tucker expertly details the trials, tragedies and triumphs of the early settlement of NSW...This book is an important historical memoir documenting the incredible life of an Australian pioneer and her role as the matriarch of one of Australia's first agricultural dynasties.' * Countryman *
`Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the Edge of the World is a great read. It crafts a compulsive story with good research, giving a convincing look into colonial New South Wales. It offers the pleasures of fine biography in tracing one person's life in all its seasons, through its successes and failures, joys and miseries.' * Nathanhobby.com *
`A nourishing, fascinating, and eye-opening read.' * Alpha Reader *
`Tucker's great achievement is to have scraped back the familiar historical -material to uncover a fresh and compelling -portrait of Elizabeth Macarthur in her own words and the words of those who knew her.' * Australian *
`This carefully researched history is a highly interesting read that highlights the importance of women in the settlement of New South Wales.' * Otago Daily Times *
`This is Elizabeth's story, brilliantly told...Tucker draws a vivid portrait of this steely resilient and charming woman who triumphed over innumerable trials and tribulations.' * Toowoomba Chronicle *

Great read for history buffs


Have recommended it to museum colleagues





I liked this book very much. Impeccably researched and written it gives an insightful look at this family, to the point where I felt as though I was on the outside looking in at their daily lives. In the face of so many difficulties and personal disappointments, the wonderful heroine of the story soldiered on in spite of the many set-backs she endured, the difficult times in which she and her family lived and the ultimate destruction of her volatile and difficult husband. She truly was "the power behind the throne" and a woman to be much admired for her courage and ability to rise above the difficulties and carry on indomitably. This book is a pure dose of Australiana at its best.

uralla NSW


Definitely worth reading


Great read about a fascinating women. Well researched and written. Highly recommend it.



Engaging and enlightening


This is the fascinating story of Elizabeth Macarthur, an often overlooked heroine of Australian history. In telling us about Elizabeth's eventful life, Michelle Scott Tucker has also painted a vivid picture of Australia's early colonial settlement. A very enjoyable and informative read.

Melbourne, Australia



5.0 4


ISBN: 9781925603422
ISBN-10: 1925603423
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 384
Published: 2nd April 2018
Publisher: Text Publishing Co
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.5  x 3.1
Weight (kg): 0.55