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The Old Balmain House


Novel by


Graham Wilson


Authors Note

This is a work of fiction.

While Balmain is a real suburb of Sydney in which I lived for 7 years, many of the locations and most of the characters are fictitious. In addition, while there is consistency with some parts of the history, such as the Federation March in 1901, many detailed aspects are fictitious such as the development of Ballast Point, which did not occur in the manner described. Similarly most houses described and parts of the geography in East Balmain are also fictitious.

For those who wish to know which parts of the book are based on real information, rather than the author’s imagination, please refer to the Appendix. More detailed information on the Balmain Peninsula is available from many sources such as the Balmain Public Library, Mitchell Library and the Balmain Historical Association, however my reference to these within the narrative as sources of information is part of the fictional base of the novel.

The purpose of this novel is not to seek a merging of fiction and historical fact as some authors do with great proficiency, but to use certain historical facts of Sydney’s early development and some geographical locations of beauty around it’s Harbour as a canvass on which a work of imagination is painted.

Parts of the canvass are known facts from my early family history, but these are like occasional dots of paint giving reference points and shadowed outlines. All the intervening layered detail to make this word picture has been created within my mind. To the extent that some parts approximate but misrepresent reality, this is entirely accidental and I apologise if it causes offense through appearing to misrepresent history.

The genesis of this novel was a writing class I undertook, while researching a real family memoir. I was handed a small bottle, similar to the perfume bottle in this story, and asked to imagine and write the outline of a story associated with it This outline, imagined over 5 minutes became this novel.
It is an imagining which I hope gives you pleasure. This is it’s real purpose.
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