Flora Eldershaw - Politics


Politics was always an important aspect of her work. Realising that "to be involved in writing was to be involved in politics", she, Barnard and Davison, worked hard through the Fellowship of Australian Writers to protect writers and the freedom of expression. She lobbied for writers to receive Federal government subsidies. The "salon" she and Barnard held in Sydney in the late 1930s hosted not only writers but also peace activists such as Lewis Rodd and Lloyd Ross.

During the war years, Eldershaw documented cases in which police raids on individuals and left-wing organisations resulted in the confiscation of property, arguing that writers must have "in their libraries all shades of opinion as tools of the trade". She strongly supported the FAW's pro-Soviet stance and, with Katharine Susannah Prichard, Miles Franklin and Frank Dalby Davison, was invited to speak at the Cultural Conference of the NSW Aid Russia Committee. As FAW President in 1943, she conveyed a message of support for Soviet writers to the Soviet Consul in Canberra.

Dever quotes Melbourne writer John Morrison as saying that Eldershaw was "socially and politically inclined to the left" and says that her pro-Soviet position and involvement in the Peace Movement resulted in her having "a slim if predictable ASIO file".

Read more about this topic:  Flora Eldershaw

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