Free epub Caddie, A Sydney Barmaid: An AutobiographyAuthor Caddie –

Caddie, the Story of a Barmaid is the fictionally embellished autobiography of Catherine Caddie Edmonds, who worked as a barmaid in Sydney during the Great Depression Published anonymously inunder Edmonds nickname, which was coined by a lover who likened her to the sleek body and class of his Cadillac motorcar , Caddie attracted wide critical acclaim upon its original publication in London, and became a bestseller when it was adapted into a feature film in , one year after International Women s Year Author and originsThe book s anonymous author, Catherine Beatrice Edmonds , was employed for some years fromas a charwoman by authors Dymphna Cusack and Florence James at their cottage in the Blue Mountains At the time, Cusack and James were working on their epic collaborative novel, Come In Spinner Edmonds initially took the job in the hope that the authors would write her story Entertained by Edmonds turn of phrase and her stories of working as a barmaid during the Depression, Cusack and James encouraged and coached her through seven drafts of an autobiography until Edmonds married Frederick George Holloway represented as Jon Marsh in the book onJanuaryat St Stephen s Church, Newtown The couple had two children in the early years of the marriage a son named Ronald, and a daughter named Catherine The couple were divorced in Sydney onDecember She married again onFebruaryto Arthur John Baden Surenne at the Methodist Church at Marrickville This marriage lasted untilwhen the couple divorced She later changed her surname by deed poll to Elliott MackayEdmonds chose to write under a pseudonym because she was publicity shy John Ritchie s entry in the Australian Dictionary of Biography describes her as plump, round faced, with narrow, grey blue eyes, wavy, light brown hair streaked with grey , and deeply graven lines at the corners of her mouth Caddie Edmonds died of a heart attack onAprilat her home in Regentville in Sydney She was buried in Penrith General Cemetery and was survived by a son and a daughterPlot introductionThe book follows the story of the nicknamed author, Caddie, from a brief outline of her childhood to her work as a barmaid and, later, SP bookmaking, during the Great Depression until the outbreak of World War II During this time Caddie overcomes numerous hardships as she raises her two children without the support of family or her estranged husband, Jon MarshPlot summaryThe book tells the story of Caddie, starting with her birth in Penrith, New South Wales, into a family living in poverty They move to railway camps at Glenbrook in the Blue Mountains where her drunken father works as a railway fettler His abuse becomes worse when her mother dies in childbirth and her brother is killed at the Gallipoli landing To escape her family, she moves to Sydney to work as a shop assistant with her friend, Esther, while still a young woman She meets and marries a middle class man, Jon Marsh, and has two children by him She feels constrained by the control taken by her mother in law, living next door, who treats her as undeserving of her son, as Caddie is not pure merino ie with only free settler, not convict, forebears Caddie leaves when she discovers Jon s sexual relationship with Esther Jon and his mother endeavour to retain custody of the children, although Caddie believes this is really only to spite herCaddie moves to the first available cheap accommodation, only to find that the premises are mainly inhabited by prostitutes Caddie finds better paid work as a barmaid, a morally suspect position her first employer tells her to shorten her dress, for example, because she was an artwork, and he liked his artwork on display She places her children in the care of a church run home, having tried leaving them with carers who mistreated and neglected them She visits weekly, often with her barmaid friend, Leslie When the Depression hits, tips are less common and both women s incomes fall dramatically Through Leslie, Caddie meets a Greek immigrant and business owner, Peter, with whom she establishes a loving relationship, with Peter buying gifts for weekend visits with Caddie s children Caddie and Peter are distressed when Peter s estranged wife and ailing father call him back to Greece to run the family business The couple corresponds, with Peter reporting that his attempts to divorce his wife have been unsuccessfulWith the effects of the Depression deepening, Caddie takes additional work by running tabs for the pub s SP bookmaker She regains custody of her children and rents a house, furnishing it with fruit cases for chairs She befriends Bill the Rabbittoh rabbit seller , Sonny his brother and their parents, and Bill helps her sign up for the dole sustenance food provisions meant for those without income Caddie saves some money when she starts running the SP books herself, the bookmaker having moved on to legal bookmaking at the racecourse Caddie decides to leave the city, having been offered work on a farm She moves house to share with Bill the rabbittoh for a week, to save rent before moving to mountains for other work, but remains there when the work offer is withdrawn She emotionally supports, and is supported by, Bill s family, including caring for his elderly father before his death Around this time, Peter s wife dies, and Peter asks Caddie to migrate Caddie feels unable to do this, but Peter is tied to Greece to keep the business alive You ll have to read the book to see what happens from here Major themesThe book documents one woman s version of her experiences of the Great Depression, highlighting her battle to maintain her respectability while ensuring she can support her childrenAt the time, Australian bars were segregated on gender lines, so the barmaid was the only female present in the main bar As a result, barmaids had a bad name because a woman working in such conditions was regarded as morally suspect, perhaps luring men into spending their money in bars, perhaps soliciting commercial sex Indeed, Caddie makes reference to the numerous sexual advances made towards her, both in her role as barmaid and in situations where it would benefit her, such as from the teacher at her children s school She shows how she remained morally respectable in this regard, and shows how her other illegal activities SP bookmaking, signing up for multiple welfare payments were for the benefit of her family and friendsThe story makes reference to the six o clock swill, written at a time shortly after the war when it was presumed that the reader would be familiar with the phenomenon In an effort to minimise alcohol consumption, the Australian government legislated that bars were to close at pm The result was an extreme rush between pm and pmCusack notes how Caddie was reluctant to give any signs of complaint, but to take everything in her stride in order to meet the needs of her children Cusack had Caddie rewrite the book several times in order to give detail of the difficulties she faced and her feelings about them The stoic strength of an Australian single woman battler is an underlying theme to the storyPublishing detailsThe book was published in Mayby Constable Co Ltd in London to glowing reviews By September it had been reprinted three times, although, at this stage, it was not a best seller It was eventually published in Australia inThe film adaptation inled to a resurgence in the book s popularity and bestseller status, with seven reprints that year, sixteen years after Caddie s death This was nominated reading for our year 10 English class As a fan of true stories and biographies I was happy with this one, as our previous class read was Jayne Eyre and I hadn t enjoyed That at all Caddie illustrated to me how things had changed for women in Australia since the 20s and 30s when her story takes place I enjoyed her strength in facing poverty and discrimination with class, and Gave me an insight to Depression era Australia in the inner city. Great, true read about depression era Sydney in that rare voice from the other side of the bar the long suffering Australian barmaid.