Pen and suffrage: eight years in Beechworth
English-born writer Ada Cambridge lived in Beechworth for eight years when her husband was Anglican archdeacon. She became late Victorian Australia's most significant published female writer, pushing social boundaries with then uncommon but far-sighted views on sex, marriage and equality.
Join us for an evening in Beechworth’s historic Anglican Christ Church to hear the words and learn about the life of Ada Cambridge, who lived and wrote in the church rectory between 1885 and 1893.
Born in 1844, Cambridge married priest George Cross in Ely, England, in 1870, and four months later the couple disembarked in Melbourne. They lived across the next 15 years in Wangaratta, Yackandandah, Ballan, Coleraine, Bendigo and Beechworth, where George’s tenure as rector and archdeacon from 1885 kept them for eight years before he was called to Williamstown parish in 1893.
You’ll hear from Ada’s published works Thirty Years in Australia (1903), Up the Murray (1875), and Unspoken Thoughts – the latter ‘hastily suppressed’ because of her reflections on sex in marriage and social justice. You’ll also hear music of the late Victorian era performed on the church’s colonial-built organ, installed in 1887 when George was rector.
Celebrating 50 years of the Victorian Heritage Register