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Turner, Ethel (1872 - 1958)

Born
24 January 1872
Balby, Yorkshire, England
Died
8 April 1958
Mosman, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Author
Alternative Names
  • Curlewis, Ethel (married name)
  • Turner, Ethel (pen name)

Summary

Ethel Turner's first book, Seven Little Australians, was published in 1894. Translated into ten languages, it was made into a stage play in 1915 and a film in 1939. In 1953 it was televised in Britain, and in 1973 and 1975 by the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

Details

Ethel Turner migrated to Australia with her family at the age of eight. While attending Sydney Girl's High School, she published Parthenon with her sister Lillian. She began writing in 1890. Ethel met Herbert Curlewis in 1891, and the pair were married in 1896 when he was an established barrister and she was already a successful writer of children's stories. According to Heather Radi in her anthology 200 Australian Women, Turner contributed a 'Sydney letter' to the Tasmanian Mail and wrote for the children's column of the Illustrated news. The Bulletin accepted her first story in 1892 and she published her first book, Seven Little Australians, in 1894. Radi notes that the book was criticised by some for not conforming to nineteenth century conventions in children's literature, whereby good behaviour is always rewarded, but the book was enormously successful and remains so, with over 40 editions published.

Sources used to compile this entry: Niall, Brenda, 'Turner, Ethel Mary (1871-1958)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A120326b.htm; Radi, Heather (ed.), 200 Australian Women: A Redress Anthology, Women's Redress Press, Sydney, 1988, 258 pp. Also available at http://nla.gov.au/nla.arc-78644.

Related entries

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Papers of Ethel Turner, 1894 - 1951, MLMSS 4523; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Correspondence from Ethel Turner, 1880 - 1935, MS 6710; Papers of William Cullen; Ethel Turner; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Ethel Turner - Literary manuscripts and correspondence, 1901-1926 [manuscript], 1901 - 1926, MS 2233; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Papers of Eleanor Dark, 1923 - 1974, MS 4998; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Papers of Ethel Turner, 1887 - 1935, MS 749; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Papers of Violet Braddon, 1916 - 1980, MS 6943; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Photographs of Women literary figures, MS 6191; Papers of Walter Stone; Walter Stone; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Special Collections, Academy Library, UNSW@ADFA, Australian Defence Force Academy

  • Ada Cambridge manuscript collection, 1897 - 1908, mss G79; Special Collections, Academy Library, UNSW@ADFA, Australian Defence Force Academy. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Records of Ward, Lock and Co., 1928 - 1954, BOX 3719/2-3; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE0151b.htm

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