Catherine Blake

Clarinda and Henry tells the story of the Australian Father of Federation, Sir Henry Parkes, and his wife, Clarinda.

It is a story of their struggles in England in the early 1800s, their hazardous journey to Sydney on an emigrant ship and their lives as early settlers in Sydney and the Blue Mountains. It is a tale of success, but also of hardship and endurance.

While it tells the story of Henry Parkes’s political life, it has a large focus on his wife, Clarinda, a woman whose story was hidden behind her renowned husband’s, but who, like so many others of her era, helped shape the Australia we know today.

Clarinda and Henry Book Launch was held successfully  at Canberra at Gorman House Arts Centre on Sunday 17th June.

Catherine Blake is a great-great granddaughter of Clarinda and Henry Parkes. She grew up in Sydney and studied a combined degree in Arts and Law at the University of New South Wales with a major in history and a minor in English. Catherine worked as a lawyer in Sydney and Wagga Wagga before moving to Canberra and studying a diploma of primary school teaching while her children were young. She has been a teacher in the public school system of the Australian Capital Territory for over a decade. Her passion for teaching and writing was inspired by an amazing second grade teacher, Mrs Clear, at Eastwood Public School, Sydney.

Catherine is married to Simon, and has three adult children: Steph, Ellie and Josh.

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