"Here the sons and daughters of Abyssinia lived only to know the soft vicissitudes of pleasure and repose, attended by all that were skilful to delight, and gratified with whatever the senses can enjoy. They wandered in gardens of fragrance, and slept in the fortresses of security."
"Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia"    Samuel Johnson


A ghost story about a dolls' house, based on the childhood writings of Kathleen and Nina Rouse who lived at the Rouse Hill estate west of Sydney in the late 19th century.  Winner of the Adelaide Festival Award for Literature.  

Enriching, uplifting and deeply satisfying.   The Canberra Times

A wonderful book of great intensity  Andersen (Italy)

Brilliantly evokes the often-shadowy place of childhood, but at the core is an intriguing story that will have younger readers asking questions that adults won’t be able to answer. The Age 

Click here to listen to a short excerpt from the Bolinda audio book and here for teachers' notes




"Kathleen had a particular interest in doll play, often staging grand pageants, weddings and funerals in the nursery at Rouse Hill and re-writing popular Victorian melodramatic novels to record the social life of her dolls. She even published these in a house journal called the Rouse Hill Gazette. This doll has led a vigorous, and slightly mysterious life."

From Sydney Living Museums




"The Orange Tree" by John Shaw Nielson

oranges no date.jpg

The young girl stood beside me. I

Saw not what her young eyes could see:

 A light, she said, not of the sky

 Lives somewhere in the Orange Tree

                 Italian editions "Everything begins in Zanzibar"