Dear Kathleen Dear Manning  Edited by Susan Davies

Dear Kathleen Dear Manning Edited by Susan Davies

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Manning Clark and Kathleen Fitzpatrick were influential Australian historians; they were both also gifted writers. Their personal letters, published for the first time in Dear Kathleen, Dear Manning, form a revealing and moving collection. They trace the gradual development over forty years of an unlikely, but deep and sympathetic friendship - one which became more and more important to the writers as they moved into old age.

Clark's left-wing politics contrasted with Fitzpatrick's staunch liberalism; her privileged background was very different from his more austere upbringing: her stately demeanour was at odds with his studied larrikinism. Manning Clark took to the public stage, while Kathleen Fitzpatrick remained resolutely private. Yet they struck a chord in each other, seeing themselves in some way as outsiders. They were both extraordinarily sensitive and reserved people; notice the delicacy and obliqueness with which they refer to personal problems, and the sympathy they quickly extend for each other's troubles and nervous ills.