# 36073

COWLEY, Amalia and Pamela VIRTUE

[NEW GUINEA; VULCANOLOGY] The volcano’s wife : the great untold story

$40.00 AUD

Calwell, ACT : Inspiring Publishers, 2015. Octavo (230 x 150 mm), pictorial wrappers; pp 208, with numerous b/w photographic illustrations, maps; a fine copy; from The Papuan Collection of Charles Fletcher (Melbourne), his bookplate to one of the preliminary pages.

This memoir of New Guinea, written by the wife of a District Commissioner from northern New South Wales, contains an important eyewitness account of the devastating 1951 eruption of Mount Lamington in Oro Province. 

‘Amalia marries Cecil in 1933 after a lightning five-day shipboard courtship. She is catapulted from sleepy Lismore in Australia to the wild heart of Papua New Guinea, walking the trail with convicted murderers to her first home, Kokoda, where she erected its first Australian flag. Amalia and Cecil raised their two children in a land of serenity and great beauty, and came to love the people they lived amongst. This is Amalia’s story. A remote station, Higaturu, is paradise to Cecil, District Commissioner. But paradise becomes an inferno when the family is torn apart by implacable forces. In 1951 Mount Lamington explodes, blasting thousands to extinction. The violent eruption causes unprecedented destruction and brings about a fundamental change, both to the scorched landscape and to the traumatised survivors. It is also a gut-wrenching account of a child’s memories. … This is also her story.’  (Back cover)

Trove locates only two copies (NLA; Geoscience Australia. N.H. (Doc) Fisher Geoscience Library)