The Diary of Emilie Appelt

Eudundan. German. Lutheran. Woman.

Emilie Appelt’s diary provides the most intimate glimpse into life in a South Australian rural town more than a century ago. Her house was a revolving door of clergymen, students, relatives, and neighbours. Pastors from across the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Australia would stay with her, often on the way to attend conferences and meetings.

Her diary describes the mundane and the sensational, from stocktaking figures in the family-run general store, to notable local accidents and momentous occasions including the arrival of the railway, and the onset of war.

Her family forms the centre of her life, and she expresses this throughout. She expresses worries about her children’s exam results, pines for her children when they are far from home, and rejoices at weddings and anniversaries.

Emilie’s diary provides a valuable insight into life as a German woman prior to World War One, strengthening our understanding of this chapter in our state’s history.

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