Marie Braithwaite (c. 1861-1927)

Marie Braithwaite was born Maria Black in Inverness, Scotland, around 1861. At the age of four, she emigrated to Australia with her father and mother, Samuel Ferguson Black and Margaret Black, the family settling in the rural Lillimur area of Western Victoria. After her father’s death in 1883, Marie stayed with her mother until her marriage in 1890 to Edward James Braithwaite, a blacksmith.

In the late 1890s, the Braithwaites moved to Broken Hill, NSW, where the couple raised four children, Erica, Annabel (later Mrs Robert Bartlin), Una (later Mrs Alfred Fishburn) and Edward. Marie lived in Broken Hill until her death in 1927, after suffering two years of ill health. Her husband had predeceased her by two years.

Publishing career

In the late 1890s Braithwaite began publishing short stories under the pseudonym of “Jack Rugby”, the masculine pseudonym sometimes getting her into trouble (see commentary in her obituary). Over the ensuing decade, Braithwaite published thirty stories, including a serialised novella, Nobody’s Baby (1900). Her story, “Red Mick and Benny”, pubished under her husban’ds name “E J Braithwaite”, was anthologised in Red Kangaroo and Other Australian Short Stories (1907). The author’s obituary in the Barrier Miner contains a fragment of an unpublished poem.

—–. “A Broken Curb” (1899, short story)
—–. “A Cat’s Paw” (1899, short story)
—–. “A Haunted Station” (1898, short story)
—–. “A Romance of the Camp” (1897, short story)
—–. “An Unpromoted Officer” (1897, short story)
—–. “The Bread of Cain” (1898, short story)
—–. “The Colt Breaker” (1898, short story)
—–. “How I Aided an Absconder” (1898, short story)
—–. “In Bonds of Brotherhood” (1899, short story)
—–. “In the Grasp of a Madman” (1898, short story)
—–. “Katie” (1897, short story)
—–. “Mrs Wilson’s Family Pride” (1897, short story)
—–. “My Aunt’s Legacy” (1898, short story)
—–. “Old Miller’s Tambourine” (1897, poem)
—–. “Tommy’s Abduction” (1899, short story)

—–. “A Bush of Wild Barrier Lilies” (1908, poem)
—–. “A Nineteenth Century Knight” (1900, short story)
—–. “A Song of Hope” (1907, poem)
—–. “The Absolution of John Derrick” (1901, short story)
—–. “Betty Pops the Question” (1906, short story)
—–. “The Blue Enamel Ring” (1909, short story)
—–. “The Dry Sea” (1903, poem)
—–. “Felix” (1908, short story)
—–. “Finigan’s Lease” (1909, short story)
—–. “Gandy & Co.” (1903, short story)
—–. “Jimmie” (1901, short story)
—–. “Only a Scab” (1908, short story)
—–. Nobody’s Baby (1900): ch1; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch12; ch13; ch14; ch15; ch16 (final).
—–. “Red Mick and Benny” (published in The Sydney Mail, 1906; and later anthologised in The Red Kangaroo and other Australian short stories: Sydney: John Fairfax and Sons, 1907)
—–. “When Jay Went Bad” (1906, short story)


Sources for biographical information: marriage notice (Express and Telegraph, 24 Apr 1890); obituary in Barrier Miner (1 Mar 1927); obituary in The Register (3 Mar 1927); husband’s death notice (Barrier Miner, 17 Jan 1925); death registration for father, Samuel Ferfuson Black (Victorian Births Deaths and Marriages reg. no. 2165/1883); births of children: Erica Margaret Muriel (Victorian Births Deaths and Marriages: 1472/1892); Annabel Eleanor Muriel (Victorian Births Deaths and Marriages: 4892/1895); Una A F Braithwaite (NSW Births Deaths and Marriages 1895/1900 Broken Hill); son Edward B birth year unknown.