By Siobhan O'Brien
Florence Broadhurst, the one-time chanteuse of Shanghai, Bond highway salon proprietor, world-renowned wallpaper clothier and Sydney socialite lived a existence steeped in subterfuge and deception. right here for the 1st time we get a glimpse on the attention-grabbing girl at the back of the hand-printed brocades.
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Extra resources for A Life by Design: The Art and Lives of Florence Broadhurst
Cilla was an outgoing, colourful character who was the life of parties, played the piano like a professional and, according to locals, ‘drank most people under the table’. QX5 3/9/04 10:10 AM Page 31 Bookhouse Growing up, 1899–1922 a fiercely determined child, with a raucous laugh, tons of grit, a memory like an elephant, wild red hair and an inquisitive nature. She was passionate about the arts, and her eyes lit up when the travelling picture showman came to town to show his flickering silent black-and-white films, or when amateur theatricals, musicals and debates featured at the School of the Arts.
Her attitude was, “you have come to sit for me, now sit”. ’ Sally Fitzpatrick, who worked with Florence, said that the Florence she knew spoke at a million miles an hour in a mad gibberish, which was probably a result of her inability to hear as well as she once could. ‘You’d say something to Flo, either in person, on the phone or in the studio, and she’d reply, “What? What? Who? Who? ” With Flo everything was always, “What? What? Who? ”’ A striking woman, despite her diminutive five-foot four inches (about 163 centimetres), Florence left an impression of being ‘tall’ and ‘statuesque’.
Cattle grazing was in Bill’s blood but he was first and foremost a horseman. Between 1902 and 1904 he delivered mail between Mount Perry and Kariboe, a weekly five-day ride that tested even his toughened resolve. It is likely that Bill was lured by the job’s steady annual salary of one hundred and forty-six pounds. The birth of his third daughter, Priscilla ‘Cilla’ Margaret, meant another mouth to feed. With Bill’s career change came a change of residence. In 1902, when Florence was three years old, the Broadhurst family left the cluster of huts at Mungy and shifted to a one-hundred-and-twelve-acre (five-hectare) property at Drummers Creek known as ‘The Oakes’.
A Life by Design: The Art and Lives of Florence Broadhurst by Siobhan O'Brien