The Dyehouse, Mena Calthorpe

Australian Women Writers Gen 3 Week 12-18 Jan. 2020


Mena Calthorpe was one of many writers in this period to join the Communist Party She left, but remained a passionate socialist and this informs the writing of The Dyehouse (1961). Brona of Brona’s Books has written a perceptive account of this important work which has been brought back to the notice of the reading public by Text Classics.

178d3c9b3c81ff378159e63c4ba1500a Brona’s Books

Written with unerring skill and insight, The Dyehouse is a masterly portrait of postwar Australia, when industrial work was radically transformed by new technologies and society changed with it. Mena Calthorpe—who herself worked in a textile factory—takes us inside this world, vividly bringing to life the people of an inner-Sydney company in the mid-1950s: the bosses, middlemen and underlings; their dramatic struggles and their loves. Read on …




5 thoughts on “The Dyehouse, Mena Calthorpe

  1. I have tried commenting 3 times on Brona’s post. They may have gone into moderation – though usually you get a message when that happens or they may have been swallowed up.

    Essentially, I said that I really liked it too, and can’t understand that CT reviewer who did not “get” the writing and the importance of its sound.


    • I comment quite often on Brona’s Books. Often anonymously, I think I have a different gmail account for each device (PC, laptop, phone) and yes I think Brona has to manually approve each comment (of mine anyway)


      • Thanks Bill, I comment a reasonable number of times too, but I’m only want to comment as Whispering Gums. I do have a Gmail account I could use but that’s not connected to my blog identity so if I can’t use my WordPress account or Name/URL on a blog I don’t do it. The irritating thing about Blogger too is that if you don’t comment with your Gmail account you are not given the opportunity to pbd notified about responses. I comment regularly on another Blogger blog as Whispering Gums and I don’t think it has ever failed.


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