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Housewife Superstar!; Advice (and Much More) from a Nonagenarian Domestic Goddess

Housewife Superstar!; Advice (and Much More) from a Nonagenarian Domestic Goddess

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The life, advice, and many marriages of a ninety-something Tasmanian domestic goddess, the real-life Dame EdnaMarjorie Bligh is the ninety-five-year-old Martha Stewart you didn’t know you were missing. Does your goldfish have constipation? Feed it Epsom salts. Have you run out of blush? Cut a beet in half and slap it on your cheeks. Are there possums in your ceiling? Housewife Superstar will tell you how to get them out. Famous for never wasting a thing, Marjorie crochets her bedspreads from plastic bags and used panty hose, and protects the plants in her garden with bras. In 1958, upon entering the food and craft contests at her town show, she won in seventy-eight categories; the next year she won in seventy-two but was denied the trophy by jealous rivals.     Once divorced and twice widowed, Marjorie is, according to her colossal fan Barry Humphries (of Dame Edna fame), “no slouch in the matrimonial department.” Her first husband, Cliff, was loving but turned brutal. Her second marriage, to preacher and schoolteacher Adrian, was punctuated by endless love notes, breakfasts in bed, and territorial fights with his adult daughters. She snagged her third husband, Eric—a bus driver—with promises of fruitcake and flirtatious glances in his rearview mirror. Marjorie designed two homes and a museum devoted to her creations, worked for half a century as a journalist and columnist, and raised two sons, all while building a devoted following. Danielle Wood’s Housewife Superstar is an illuminating look at a treasure.
The life, advice, and many marriages of a ninety-something Tasmanian domestic goddess, the real-life Dame EdnaMarjorie Bligh is the ninety-five-year-old Martha Stewart you didn’t know you were missing. Does your goldfish have constipation? Feed it Epsom salts. Have you run out of blush? Cut a beet in half and slap it on your cheeks. Are there possums in your ceiling? Housewife Superstar will tell you how to get them out. Famous for never wasting a thing, Marjorie crochets her bedspreads from plastic bags and used panty hose, and protects the plants in her garden with bras. In 1958, upon entering the food and craft contests at her town show, she won in seventy-eight categories; the next year she won in seventy-two but was denied the trophy by jealous rivals.     Once divorced and twice widowed, Marjorie is, according to her colossal fan Barry Humphries (of Dame Edna fame), “no slouch in the matrimonial department.” Her first husband, Cliff, was loving but turned brutal. Her second marriage, to preacher and schoolteacher Adrian, was punctuated by endless love notes, breakfasts in bed, and territorial fights with his adult daughters. She snagged her third husband, Eric—a bus driver—with promises of fruitcake and flirtatious glances in his rearview mirror. Marjorie designed two homes and a museum devoted to her creations, worked for half a century as a journalist and columnist, and raised two sons, all while building a devoted following. Danielle Wood’s Housewife Superstar is an illuminating look at a treasure.

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Publish date: Oct 31, 2011
Added to Scribd: May 02, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercialISBN:9780865478893

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Faber and Faber, Inc. An affiliate of Farrar, Straus and Girou18 West 18th Street, New York 10011Copyright © 2011 by Danielle Wood All rights reservedPrinted in the United States of AmericaOriginally published in 2011 by The Text Publishing Company, AustraliaPublished in the United States by Faber and Faber, Inc.First American edition, 2013Selected material, including photographs and original text, has been provided with the express permission and courtesy of Marjorie Bligh. All copyright insuch material rests with Marjorie Bligh. The views expressed in this material areMarjorie Bligh’s, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the author or publisher.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Wood, Danielle, 1972–House wife superstar! : advice (and much more) from a nonagenariandomestic goddess / Danielle Wood. — 1st American edition.pages cm“First published by The Text Publishing Company 2011.”Includes bibliographical references.ISBN 978-0-86547-889-3 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Bligh, Marjorie, 1917– 2. Housewives— Australia—Tasmania—Biography.3. Home economics. I. Title.DU195.3.B55 W66 2013994.6'104092—dc23[B]2012036562Designed by W. H. Chong www.fsgbooks.com www.twitter.com/fsgbooks • www.facebook.com/fsgbooks1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
 
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Marjorie Pearsall
M
 ARJORIE
Pearsall was born on April 14 of 1917, the same yearthat John F. Kennedy, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Vera Lynn and EllaFitzgerald came into the world. In that year cinema screens were filled with Theda Baras Cleopatra eyes and Charlie Chaplins moustachedface, and gramophones were spinning out popular wartime songslike ‘Over There’ and ‘You’re in the Army Now’. In the skies overEurope the Red Baron shot down twenty-one Allied planes in themonth of Marjorie’s birth. Though the conflict raging in Europe wasfar from her birthplace in rural Tasmania, two hundred miles fromthe southern coast of mainland Australia, Marjorie was not exemptfrom its impact. She was christened Marjorie Alfreda Willis Pearsall,her middle names a tribute to her uncles Alfred and William, who were away fighting on the battlefields of France. Of the two, only  Alfred would return.The township of Ross, where Marjorie was born, is a cluster of sandstone Georgian buildings on the edge of the Macquarie River,in the midst of the unprepossessing sheep country of the Tasmanian

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Publishers Weekly reviewed this
The Tasmanian Mrs. Beeton, Marjorie Bligh, now in her mid-90s, finds a new generation of admirers via this fondly doting biography by compatriot novelist Wood. Thrice-married author of several cookbooks and household primers since the mid-1960s, Bligh, nee Pearsall, then Blackwell, then Cooper, first gained fame in the early '50s with her award-winning recipes in the local agricultural competitions of Campbell Town, where she lived with her first husband, Cliff Blackwell, and their two sons, in a dream home they constructed. A devoted housewife, Marjorie was also, not surprisingly, a fierce competitor and tireless domestic impresario, working as a stringer for the newspapers and putting together her first book, Marjorie Blackwell at Home, just as she was finding true love with a schoolteacher and preacher named Adrian Cooper. After his devastating death and her later remarriage to truck driver Eric Bligh, the industrious, indomitable Marjorie nonetheless came out with new editions to her book, featuring folksy cooking, knitting, gardening, animal husbandry, and cleaning tips, with a forward-looking emphasis on recycling and thriftiness that appealed to contemporary readers. Subsequent works included A-Z of Gardening and her autobiography, Life Is for Living. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

2013-03-18, Publishers Weekly
Publishers Weekly reviewed this
The Tasmanian Mrs. Beeton, Marjorie Bligh, now in her mid-90s, finds a new generation of admirers via this fondly doting biography by compatriot novelist Wood. Thrice-married author of several cookbooks and household primers since the mid-1960s, Bligh, nee Pearsall, then Blackwell, then Cooper, first gained fame in the early '50s with her award-winning recipes in the local agricultural competitions of Campbell Town, where she lived with her first husband, Cliff Blackwell, and their two sons, in a dream home they constructed. A devoted housewife, Marjorie was also, not surprisingly, a fierce competitor and tireless domestic impresario, working as a stringer for the newspapers and putting together her first book, Marjorie Blackwell at Home, just as she was finding true love with a schoolteacher and preacher named Adrian Cooper. After his devastating death and her later remarriage to truck driver Eric Bligh, the industrious, indomitable Marjorie nonetheless came out with new editions to her book, featuring folksy cooking, knitting, gardening, animal husbandry, and cleaning tips, with a forward-looking emphasis on recycling and thriftiness that appealed to contemporary readers. Subsequent works included A-Z of Gardening and her autobiography, Life Is for Living. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

2013-03-18, Publishers Weekly
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