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Forget Me Not - Book Review

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by Roxy Callaghan (subscribe)
I'm studying journalism at university and I love food, theatre and film.
Published September 8th 2013
A Story of Five Women
Forget Me Not, by Margaret Telfer, is a difficult book to classify. It's not a history, it's not historical fiction as it's neither entirely fiction nor non-fiction, it's part set in the past, part in the yet unlived future.



The book is written by Guildford resident Margaret Telfer, after nearly two decades of research.

Forget Me Not tells the tales of five women from the Chester, Robins and Devenish families set in both England and Western Australia.

Ms Telfer started researching the book about eighteen years ago with significant help from her cousin in England.

"At times the stories we were uncovering were all consuming and sometimes deeply emotional. The stories of some of the women were marvellous," Ms Tefler said.

The tale trails through several generations and five women and their connection with Western Australian political radical Joseph Chester.

There is Caroline, his mother; his sister the actress Eliza Jane. Miss Chester was famous during the 1820s and early 1830s for playing the lead roles in comedies and especially for her appearances as Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal.

She was known for her beauty and elegance rather than her acting ability or her voice. She had a wealthy and influential patron, and later became a favourite of King George IV. An interesting fact is that she bought John Keats house in 1838 and extensively re-modelled it.

It is her portrait on the front cover as painted by John Jackson in1820.

This is a book that should be read by those who enjoy family sagas, genealogy, local history or those who just enjoy a damn good read.

In a truly ironic turn of events Margaret Telfer chose to launch Forget Me Not at the historical Mechanics Institute in Guildford from which Joseph Chester was expelled after challenging government policies.

Copies of the book are available from Arlena's General Store, Guildford, the City of Swan and the author.
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