Sunday, December 29, 2013

Edwina C. Geach

Edwina C. Geach (b. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1870; d. New South Wales, 25 December 1905)

Little is known of Edwina Catherine Geach, the daughter of Edwin Geach and his wife Catherine, nèe Greenwood.  Her slim posthumous collection, The Soul of the Ti-Tree (Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian, 1909), is basically a memorial volume, comprising just over two dozen prose sketches and three poems. A small number of the writings were published pseudonymously during the author’s lifetime, but no details are given.

The volume contains a short introduction by the (anonymous) editor, plus a head-quote by Fiona Macleod (whose mystical tales were clearly a source of inspiration to the writer), and an odd unsigned “Foreword” which tells of a young wood-maiden, centuries ago, who was beloved by the fairies and pixies and sprites, but who “in the fulness of time” took her part as a daughter of the world, until the call of the trees for her to return became too strong for her to resist.  It ends:  “After her departure there were found certain writings, which she had made that about the world that is in the midst of the ti-tree, and about the world that is the world of men, and about the world that was in the centre of her own being.  These writings, coming from the heart of a woman, true and tender and compassionate, are now made into a book, so that they may be read by those who knew her and loved her, and by those who, loving the trees and the earth and the sea, would also have loved the maiden form the land of the ti-tree had their passed crossed hers.”  The allegory of the authoress seems to hint of suicide, as does the introductory note, which remarks of the “withdrawal” of her unique personality on Christmas morning of 1905. 

The tales are mostly very short, and one wishes that some of these gossamer mystical sketches had a bit more substance and depth to them, but they don’t.  One sketch was reprinted separately as a booklet, An Elfin Land (Melbourne: Sydney J. Endacott, [1914].


  1. Just discovered your blog while trying to find out more about Bassett Morgan, aka Grace Ethel Jones. (I recently read "Gray Ghouls".) Wonderful site!

    1. Thanks! I have another batch of entries that I need to set-up to post soon.