Support Your Local Suffragette begins mid 1895. It’s winter in the Swan River Colony and times are a’changing.
The Swan River Colony is a British settlement on the west coast of Australia. In 1890 it finally achieves self-government. Just in time for a dizzying mining boom. (Sidenote: Australia doesn’t become a nation until federation in 1901.)
In 1892 gold is discovered in Coolgardie, east of the Swan River Colony’s capital, Perth. Then the next year, even more gold is found nearby at Kalgoorlie. Meanwhile, in Australia’s eastern colonies, banks are crashing. Men (and women) flood west, looking for gold. In 1894 a telegraph line stretches out to the goldfields. Suddenly, in this dust dry landscape of wild men and wilder women, it’s possible to converse with London. What actually happens, is people begin playing the London Stock Exchange.
For a random flavour of 1895: Queen Victoria has occupied the throne for 58 years (from June 1837). The Suez Canal has been operating 7 years (1888). The German firm Bayer begins selling a new wonder drug they call “Heroin”. Women achieve bifurcation (with thanks to Terry Pratchett’s Witches Abroad for introducing this cool word to my vocabulary) — not everyone approves.