Mary Shelley wrote to her pioneering relation Alexander Berry in New South Wales (husband of Mary’s cousin nee Elizabeth Wollstonecraft) on June 30th 1848:
Dear Mr. Berry, You are very good to write me such long and really interesting letters. You live, you say, a hermit life – but your writing has all the vivacity of youth – and shows the deep interest you take in your Country and its welfare. A Colony – where one can at once perceive the operation of the social norms – presents a wide field for inquiry and the acquisition of knowledge. At the same time there is melancholy attached to it – the melancholy spectacle of misgovernment. This is particularly mortifying in the cases such men as Sir George Gipps and Lord Grey – for they mean well, while they do so much mischief. We boast of our improved lights – and our books overflow with philosophical principles, yet our public men perpetually make the grossest mistakes, and all they do, had better be left undone.