Sydney, March 1836: Edwin Charles, sixteen, arrives from the country to begin work at David Jones store. Three months later, he in recruited by the Commonwealth Public Service in Canberra.
Writing to his mother in Murwillumbah from his lodgings at Gorman House, Edwin is at first homesick and uncertain that he has made the right move. Like many others similarly transplanted to a national capital 'beautiful ... ridiculous' yet barely formed, he plans an escape to the big smoke.
But Edwin settles in quickly. His letters are soon filled with observations about national politics, the business of government and, as he makes new friends, accounts of forays into Canberra society. Relishing an impecunious independence, Edwin also chronicles his own participation in the intrigue and controversy of the hothouse life at his residential hostel.
A snapshot of Canberra in transition from country town to fledgling city in the uncertain years between the Depression and the War, 'Capital Correspondent' is authentic social history. The perspective from which the image is captured - that of an ambitious youth with an eye for detail and an engaging turn of phrase - make this book a unique contribution to our cultural heritage.
This book is a must for anyone with connections to this Charles family, as it not only includes in Edwin's own words, his thoughts and doings, but also photographs and a family tree.
Edwin Charles' forebears in 1936
1. 'Twelve Pennies, not Three Milkshakes'
3. 'As usual I am rushed ...'
4. The Social Whirl
5. My New Address'
Sources of Illustrations