The Old Balmain
This is a
work of fiction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information about this novel and the Balmain locality go to http://beyondbeyond.com.au/OldBalmainHouse/index.php
Copies of individual chapters are also available at this site