Re-released with a stunning new cover, Florence Broadhurst is back. Using Broadhurst's iconic Turnabouts pattern, O'neill's award-winning book has been revamped with another an eye-catching design. Florence Broadhurst was born in 1899 to a farming family in MountPerry, the isolated heart of rural Queensland. At the age of 15, she wrotean article for her small country school that reads like a mission statement. "I am resolved to do great things", she said. "My name may not bespoken by people of the future,my fame may not be lauded, but...I shalldo great things." By 19, she was singing her way around Australia, herremarkable contralto voice having apparently won her the chance toperform with Nellie Melba and Robert Helpmann. By 25 she had toured across Asia to rave reviews under the name BoobyBroadhurst, the star turn in The Globe Trotters, a saucy vaudeville troopthat included transvestites, singers, dancers and actors. After decades as a successful courtier to young English ladies both inShanghai and London, she returned to Australia at age 50, claiming to bean aristocratic English woman visiting the colonies to recuperate fromthe ravages of WW II. She spent the ensuing years painting the landscapebefore moving on to portraits of the rich and famous. By 58 she was adarling of the high-end social set, promoting herself as a tireless fundraiserfor good causes while also running an inter-state trucking business. At 63 she declared Australia was afraid of colour and announced a newventure - a wallpaper business. Broadhurst created over 800 hugelypopular designs that defined the swinging 60s. Her designs wereextremely sought after throughout the world, with long waiting lists for herwork. On 16 October, 1977, at the age of 78, Broadhurst was found murderedin her Paddington wallpaper showroom. Her fingers were broken, herhead stuffed into her lavatory bowl. Jewellery worth tens of thousands ofdollars was missing. Her murder remains unsolved.
Helen O'Neill is an award-winning print and TV journalist whose works regularly appear in Australia, the US and the UK. Her first book, Life Without Limits, was published in 2003. Helen divides her time between the UK and Australia.