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MCGARTLAND’S DAUGHTER: An Australian Story is the biography of
Bridget Ruth Gibson [1845-1923], the ‘currency’ daughter of a convicted
Irish rebel. Based on a cornerstone of ancestral memoirs archived by his
great-grandmother Elizabeth Summerhayes [1871-1947], the author has
constructed a monumental masterpiece from his extensive research into the
life and times of one remarkable Australian.
This is the true story of a woman who outlived all five of her marital partners and four of her twelve children to emerge as a widowed, self supporting, private-duty nurse, with the dawn of female emancipation at the end of the nineteenth century. Sited in a crucial period of the Nation’s history, the exciting adventures and poignant ordeals of ‘McGartland’s Daughter’ resurrect the five senses of another age for the modern reader. In presenting this story from its conception in the political and social discord of Nineteenth Century Ireland to its nativity in the Hunter Valley, its adolescence on the Australian goldfields, and its ‘coming of age’ on the battlefields of Gallipoli and Flanders, the author has assiduously represented the formation and development of the Australian identity in his chronicled depiction of the lives of Irish Catholic emancipists and their progeny.
ERVAN SUMMERHAYES is a retired transport executive with a lifelong interest in history and genealogy. Born in Sydney in 1944 he completed his secondary education at the Eastwood Marist College, from where he matriculated with honours in modern and ancient history in 1961. He subsequently trained at the Royal Military College Duntroon before graduating from the University of Queensland, where he majored in economics and Australian and European history. He has post-graduate qualifications from Macquarie University, Monash Mount Eliza and the Australian Institute of Management. His previous book, The Legacy of Summerhayes of Eastwood, an enquiry into the life and ancestry of his great-grandparents, was published in Sydney in 1997.