In early 19th Century Sydney, two women whose husbands are sworn enemies, cross paths.
One, the visionary wife of the reforming Governor Macquarie, has grand plans to transform the new colony from a prison into a civilised jewel of the Empire.
The other, married to Macquarie’s nemesis John Macarthur, is building the Australian wool industry into the economic powerhouse it would become.
Together they share more than forenames.
Elizabeth and Elizabeth marks Sue’s first foray into full-length fiction and straddles two genres, given that it is based on both meticulously researched fact and the world of “what if …”
‘We know these women were prominent members of Sydney society in those transformative years in the former colony,’ says Sue. ‘We know their husbands were powerful political enemies and we know that Elizabeth Macquarie was hugely influential in the “civilising” of Sydney while Elizabeth Macarthur was building the Australian wool industry in her husband John’s long and frequent absences overseas.
‘It’s unimaginable that they wouldn’t have met often. What occurred during those meetings, what was said and unsaid, is what this novel explores.’
Elizabeth and Elizabeth was published by Allen and Unwin in January 2021.