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Letters from the library

Hear Queensland Theatre actors bring to life some of the stories from the letters and diaries from the State Library of Queensland collection on ABC Brisbane Afternoons.

Quality Time Library Letters Maria Steleyfrom SLQ

Queensland Theatre is proudly partnering with ABC Brisbane Afternoons and the State Library of Queensland for a fascinating new series sharing the stories and lives behind letters and diaries from the library’s vast collection.

A journey to the other side of the world

5 February 2021

“The young women are put down every night at six o’clock. We are not allowed on deck after six. We are not allowed to speak to the young men. Nor the young men to the young woman.”

When the Steley family left Liverpool to set sail for Queensland in 1848, 14-year-old Maria kept a diary, detailing their voyage and their experience quarantining on Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah).

Stepping out of her role as Emily Webb in Our Town, hear Lucy Heathcote share some of Maria’s days at sea on ABC Brisbane.

Discover more about Maria’s life in Queensland on the State Library of Queensland blog.

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The tyranny of distance: the diary of Thomas Benyon

12 February 2021

“You said in your letter that you should like to be in my arms again, but you would not wish more than I.”

In the late 1880s, a young Welshman travelled to Australia seeking a new life. Thomas Benyon writes home to his sweetheart Jenet Popham, hoping to entice her to join him across the ocean.

Hear Our Town’s Jayden Popik read one of Thomas’ love letters home on ABC Brisbane.

Find out more about Thomas’ fate from the State Library of Queensland blog.

Listen now