Lacquered black cloth soft-cover exercise book with alternating lined and plain pages. It contains detailed finely-sketched coloured drawings of plants and insects, which are interleaved with tissue paper inserts, with corresponding concise written descriptions in copperplate penmanship. It is titled inside the front cover "NATURE. STUDY. / MARY. KENDALL", alongside an index. There is a section of whimsical drawings of scenery and people towards the back of the book.134pp+.
David and Gianna Sudholz collection
Teachers in rural Australia in the early twentieth century were often posted to small schools where they had to be resourceful and resilient. They needed a wide range of skills and abilities and wide ranging knowledge. Mary Kendall, a new teacher posted to Natimuk in western Victoria, demonstrated her very considerable powers of observation and artistic ability in compiling a nature study book (perhaps during her training) which could be a resource both for herself and for her class. The book, beautifully detailed in its rendering of a wide range of plants and insects, reflects the type of environmental education available to children of that era. It contains reference to both introduced and native species. The book reflects the increased attention given to nature study in Australian schools at the time, and offers an intimate insight into one Australian's relationship with her natural world.
Paper, Textile - non specific