Florence Broadhurst, the one-time chanteuse of Shanghai, Bond Street salon owner, world-renowned wallpaper designer and Sydney socialite lived a life steeped in subterfuge and deception. Here for the first time we get a glimpse at the fascinating woman behind the hand-printed brocades.
Late in the afternoon of 16 October 1977, seventy-eight year-old Florence Broadhurst was brutally murdered. Her killer was never found.
The mystery surrounding Florence's death is in keeping with the elegant artifice of her life. Born in rural Australia, Florence soon decided Queensland was too small a stage. She travelled the world, changing her name and business as she went--a performing arts academy in Shanghai, a fashion salon in London and a husband or two until finally, in 1949, she returned to Australia. This time Broadhurst claimed to be an English woman escaping post-war London for the sunshine of the 'promised land'.
1959 saw her drawing on images she had gathered from her travels to create a flourishing business, Australian (Hand Printed) Wallpapers. By the time of her death Florence Broadhurst was a successful socialite--and a wealthy woman. But who was she, this generous, ferociously autocratic and evasive woman? In A Life by Design we get a glimpse of the woman behind the hand-printed brocades and mysterious life.
Formerly the editor-in-chief of Indesign magazine and website, Siobhan O'Brien regularly contributes to a number of publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, POL Oxygen, Vogue Living, Marie Claire and Australian Style.
Siobhan is a full time writer and lives on the South Coast with her husband Greg Duncan Powell (co-author of Drink Drank Drunk) and their baby daughter Evelyn May. This is her second book.
Table Of Contents:
Chapter 1 Murder 1977
Chapter 2 Growing Up 1899-1922
Chapter 3 The Orient 1922-1927
Chapter 4 Return Home 1927
Chapter 5 London 1927-1949
Chapter 6 Sydney 1949-1958
Chapter 7 Wallpaper and Trucking 1959-1969
Chapter 8 The Final Years 1970-1977
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
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Biography & True Stories