25 May 2021 Susannah

Seven Little Australians – A Video Talk

On her 21st birthday, a young woman named Ethel Turner added a note to her diary: “Seven L. Aust. – sketched it out.” That was in 1893. One hundred years later, the book she had dreamed up would be the only book by an Australian author to have been continuously in print for one hundred years. Seven Little Australians is an Australian classic.

Ethel Turner went on to write children’s columns in newspapers and magazines, and she wrote more than 40 books. She married, brought up two children and had a busy social and professional life. How did Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women influence her creation of the naughty Woolcot children? How much was she influenced by her rivalry with Mary Grant Bruce, whose Billabong novels were constant competition for her? How was she ahead of her time in her writing about Aboriginal Australians, and in the feminist and matriarchal novels that she wrote? What social concerns drove her to pick up her pen?

Seven Little Australians was set in Sydney in the 1880s. Yet the lessons of the novel are as relevant today as when the book first appeared. Revisit and celebrate this fabulous Australian novel and learn about the remarkable woman who wrote it. CLICK HERE

In an era when fiction was supposed to be about ‘good’ children, Ethel Turner dared to make her Aussie children naughty, getting into constant scrapes and sometimes getting away with it. Just $9 for the full video talk, available now.

Become a friend of Ethel Turner
I’m excited to announce the birth of a new literary group, The Friends of Ethel Turner. There is no financial or time commitment required, just an interest in preserving this important part of Australia’s literary heritage. Please add your name and contact if you are interested in being updated. Read about The Friends of Ethel Turner here.

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Featured image credit- Barbara Llewellyn, Mark Shields-Brown, Jennifer Cluff, Anna Hruby, Christian Robinson, Mark Clark, 7 Little Australians, 1973 ABC TV mini series, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0140763/

Comments (2)

  1. Virginia Bloore

    Hi Susannah
    Nice to hear that you are concentrating on Ethol Turner and her interesting life as a children’s novelist.

    My great aunt, Louise Mack, was also a trail blazer in the late 1800’s and grew up with Ethol in Mosman.
    The two girls studied at Sydney Girls School (now David Jones Department Store in Castlereagh Street) and were both competing in writing children’s books and socialising in the early days of Mosman.

    Some of Louise Mack’s books include “Girls Together”, “Teens” and my favourite “Scribbling Sue”.

    During WW1 Louise worked as a journalist for the Bulletin and was working on stories at the Western Front.

    I hope you also get a chance to follow Louise Mack’s interesting life.

    I do enjoy reading your newsy emails.
    thank you
    Virginia

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Oh how interesting, Virginia. If you order my video talk on Ethel Turner and ‘Seven Little Australians’ you will see that Louise Mack is very definitely featured in it.

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