Sunday, August 29, 2010

Celebrating Spring

It's springtime in this part of the world. Blossom on the trees, daffodils in the orchard, calves and lambs in the paddocks (although not in ours; our sheep live a celibate lifestyle).

Calving was (and is) an important time of year on a dairy farm. Here's a snippet from my work-in-progress:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Winton Baby-Farmer

On 12 August 1895 Minnie Dean was hanged; the only woman ever executed in New Zealand.

Dean was a "baby-farmer", a role that grew out of Victorian attitudes to illegitimacy. Having a child out of wedlock was seen as ruining the life of a respectable girl, blighting any chance of a good marriage. A baby-farmer could make the problem discreetly disappear, by taking the child off its mother's hands.