1860s

The following list provides links to texts by well-known as well as forgotten or overlooked Australian women writers published in the 1860s which are available either to be read online or for download. They are organised alphabetically by author. Links to contemporary publications digitised on TROVE have been found with the assistance of the Australian Newspaper Fiction Database (ANFD). If any are broken or incorrect, please let us know via the contact page.

Note: No guarantee can be made as to the legibility of articles in digitised newspapers on TROVE links to which are found below. Some facsimile copies may be only partially illegible; clearer copies may sometimes be found via NSW State Library eresources collection (requires log in for full online access). It is AWWs’ aim that all copies will be legible in time, but we rely on volunteers to do this work. Any effort to correct the TROVE texts would be greatly appreciated.

Atkinson, Louisa. aka “L.A.”
—–. “A Trip From Windsor to Mt Tomah” (1863; nonfiction article)
—–. “A Voice from the Country“: nonfiction articles (published 19 Jan 1860; 1 Mar 1860; 6 Apr 1860; 15 May 1860; 5 Jun 1860; 12 Jul 1860; 31 Jul 1860; 9 Aug 1860; 19 Oct 1860; 24 Dec 1860; 28 Jan 1861; 11 Mar 1861; 10 Apr 1861; 1 May 1861; 2 Jul 1861; 30 Jul 1861; 30 Jan 1862; 20 Mar 1862; 10 Jun 1862; 8 Aug 1862; 2 Sep 1862; 23 Oct 1862; 2 Jan 1863; 12 Feb 1863; 2 May 1863; 2 Jul 1863 22 Sep 1863: “Recollections of the Aborigines”; 25 Sep 1863: continuation of previous; 9 Nov 1863; 5 Jan 1864; 14 Jul 1864; 1 May 1865)
—–. Debatable Ground: Or the Carlillawarra Claimants (1861). Serialised in the Sydney Mail, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14; ch15; ch16; ch17; ch18; ch19; ch20; ch21; ch22; ch23; ch24; ch25. (Links found with the assistance of the Australian Newspaper Fiction Database.)
—–. Myra. Serialised in the Sydney Mail, ch1; ch2; chs 3 and 4; chs 5 and 6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; links to chapters found with the assistance of the Australian Newspaper Fiction Database.
—–. “Lecture on Australian Literature” (1864; nonfiction report).

Davidson, Harriet Miller*** (1839-1883).
—–. Christian Osborne’s Friends (1869) (on Google Play)
—–. Isobel Jardine’s History (1867) (on Google Play)

Davitt, Ellen (1812-1879), Force and Fraud – originally published in serial form in Australian Journal (1865); republished as an ebook by Clan Destine Press (together with a short story by Davitt, “The Highlander’s Revenge”. Dubbed as “Australia’s first mystery novel”. Facsimile of Australian Journal available online via State Library of NSW (needs log in).

Fortune, Mary Helena (1833-1911), aka “Waif Wander” and “W.W.”. Many of Fortune’s detective stories, published serially as “The Detective’s Album” in the Australian Journal, may be found via Gale Primary Sources, accessible via the NSW State Library (log in required; Australian Journal record identifier: 74VKVrXok4RZ). The relevant entries listed below are marked with +. Some were collected in Australia’s first volume of detective stories, The Detective’s Album (1871). Fortune continued to publish the “album” stories throughout the 1870s and 1880s, and at least one was reprinted in newspapers digitised on TROVE.
—–. “The Convict’s Revenge”, Australian Journal V, 54 (1 Nov 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required). Later published (1884) and available via TROVE.
—–. “The Dead Man’s Seat”, Australian Journal IV, 49 (1 Jun 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “Fire”, Australian Journal IV, 167 (1 Apr 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “The Fratricide”, Australian Journal IV, 172 (12 Dec 1868), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “The Geneva Watch”, Australian Journal IV[V?], 50 (1 Jul 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “Lost Ella”, Australian Journal IV[V?], 51 (1 Aug 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “Love”, Australian Journal V, 53 (1 Oct 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “The Missing Bracelets”, Australian Journal V, 55 (1 Dec 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “Our Last Crushing”, Australian Journal V, 52 (1 Sep 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “The Poisoner”, Australian Journal IV[V?], 46 (1 Mar 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “The Red Room”, Australian Journal IV, 167 (7 Nov 1868), available via NSW State Library eresources (Gale link; log in required).
—–. “The Ruby Ring”, Australian Journal IV[V?], 167 (1 May 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “The Shadow of the Hills” (poem by Waif Wander), Australian Journal V, 52 (1 Sep 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).
—–. “Simple Sam”, Australian Journal IV[V?], 168 (23 Jan 1869), available via NSW State Library eresources (log in required).

Franc, Maud Jeanne , aka Matilda Jane Congreve (birth name) and Matilda Jane Evans (married name) (1827-1886).
—–. Golden Gifts. Serialised in Kapunda Herald (1867), Ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14; ch15; ch16; ch17; ch18; ch19; ch20; ch21; ch22; ch23; ch24; ch25; ch26; ch27; ch28; ch29; ch30; ch31; ch32; ch33; ch34; ch35; ch36; ch37; links to chapters found with assistance from the Australian Newspaper Fiction Database.
—–.
Marian, or, the light of someone’s home : a tale of Australian bush life (1868) A romance with strong Christian themes. Note: ‘Marian’ reputedly is the first novel by a South Australian woman to be published in SA and the first novel set wholly in SA.

Massary, Isabel aka Elizabeth Ramsay-Laye (1832-1932). Social life and manners in Australia: being the notes of eight years’ experience, Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts, London, 1861, 209 pp.

Meredith, Louisa Anne. nee Twamley. Shared entry in Australian Dictionary of Biography with her husband Charles. Launceston Examiner obituary (22 Oct 1895), Daily Telegraph obituary (25 Oct 1895), Illustrated Sydney mention (4 Jun 1892).
—–. “A Tasmanian Memory of 1834“, poem extracted in The Cornwall Chronicle (4 Sep 1869), context given in Meredith’s My Home in Tasmania.
—–. “EBBA” serialised weekly in The Australasian 1866-1867. Set in a small village in the UK, with an interposed narrative set in New Orleans; a problematic, mixed genre novel which includes a comedy of manners, murder mystery and tragedy. In March 1867, its instalment was bumped to May, giving way to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. [Text of “EBBA” on TROVE corrected October 2021, with reference to a copy accessed online via State Library NSW] Ch 1; Ch 2; Ch 3; Ch 4; Ch 5; Ch 6; Ch 7, Ch 7 (cont.); Ch 8; Ch 9, Ch 9 (cont.); Ch 10; Ch 11; Ch 12; Ch 13, Ch 13 (cont.); Ch 14; Ch 15; Ch 16, Ch 16 cont.; Ch 17; Ch 18; Ch 19, Ch 19 (cont.); Ch 20; Ch 21; Ch 22; Ch 23; Ch 24, Ch 24 (cont.); Ch 25; Ch 26 with start of Ch 27; Ch 27 (cont.); Ch 28; Ch 29; Ch 30, Ch 30 cont.; Ch 31; Ch 32; Ch 33; Ch 34, Ch 34 (cont.); Ch 35; Ch 36; Ch 37; Ch 38; Ch 39; Ch 40; Ch 41; Ch 42; Ch 43; Ch 44; Ch 45; Ch 46; Ch 47; Ch 48; Ch 49; Ch 50; Ch 51; Ch 52; Ch 53; Ch 54; Ch 55; Ch 56; Ch 57; Ch 58; Ch 59; Ch 60; Ch 61; Ch 62; Ch 63; Ch 64; Ch 65; Ch 66; Ch 67; Ch 68; Ch 69; Ch 70; Ch 71; Ch 72; Ch 73; Ch 74; Ch 75; Ch 76; Ch 77. Links found with assistance from the Australian Newspaper Fiction Database. Also published as Phoebe’s Mother : London: Tinsley Brothers, 1869. Caveat: The serialised version displays racism towards non-White characters in terms of both language and description.
—–. Over the Straits: A Visit to Victoria (1861): copies in Gutenburg Australia and Archive.org
—–. Some of My Bush Friends in Tasmania: native flowers, berries, and insects, drawn from life, illustrated in verse, and briefly described.(1860) Also in The Hobart Town Mercury, 30 Apr 1860 (article).

Parkes, Clarinda**** aka Menie Parkes, “Alethea”, “Ariel” (1813-1884).
—–. A Lonely Lot (1863), serialised in Sydney Mail, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14; ch15; ch16; ch17; ch18; ch19; ch20; ch21; ch22; ch23; ch24; ch25; ch26; ch27; ch28 (conclusion); links to chapters found with the assistance of the Australian Newspaper Fiction Database.
—–. Benedicta (1867), serialised in Sydney Mail, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; chs 6 and 7; chs 8 and 9; chs 10 and 11; ch12; chs 13 and 14; chs 15 and 16; chs 17 and 18; chs 19 and 20; chs 21 and 22; chs 23 and 24; chs 25 and 26; chs 27 and 28; chs 29 and 30; chs31 and 32; chs 33 and 34 (conclusion). Links to chapters found with assistance of Australian Newspaper Fiction Database.
—–. Bitter-Sweet – So Is the World (1860), serialised in Sydney Mail, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14; ch15; ch16; ch17; ch18; ch19; ch20; ch21; ch22; ch23; ch24; ch25; ch26; ch27; ch28; ch29?; chs 30 and 31 (mislabelled? chs 29 and 30? AustLit database describes the book as having 30 chapters);  links to chapters found with assistance from Australian Newspaper Fiction Database.
—–. Poems (1866)
—–. Which Wins? A Tale of Life’s Impulses (1861), serialised in Sydney Mail, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14; ch15; ch16; ch17; ch18; ch19; ch20; ch21; ch22; ch23; ch24; ch25; ch26; ch27; ch28; ch29; ch30; links to chapters found with assistance from Australian Newspaper Fiction Database.

Selby, Elizabeth aka Bess of the Forest, the Lincolnshire Lass and possibly Elizabeth Wild, Long Bay (Sydney, 1865?), 64 pp. downloadable as pdf

Spence, Catherine Helen** (1825-1910), aka “Miss Spence”.
—–. Hogarth’s will, 3 vols (Richard Bentley, London, 1865) downloadable as pdf; or read facsimile online at archive.org
—–. Hugh Lindsay’s Guest (1867), serialised in Adelaide Observer, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14; ch15; ch16; ch17; ch18; ch19; ch20; ch21; ch22; ch23; ch24; ch25; ch26; ch27; ch28; ch29; ch30; ch31; ch32; ch33; ch34; ch35; ch36; ch37; ch38; ch39; ch40; ch41; ch42; ch43; ch44; ch45; ch46; ch47; ch48; ch49; ch50; ch51; ch52; ch53 (conclusion); links to chapters found with assistance from Australian Newspaper Fiction Database.
—–. The Author’s Daughter (1867); or read facsimile online at archive.org

Vidal, Mary Theresa* (1815-1873), Bengala, or, Some Time Ago (1860)

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* Links to the Australian Dictionary of Biography online
** Links to AustLit (subscription access)
*** Links to Wiki
**** Links to “People Australia,” National Centre of Biography website
***** Links to Colonial Australian Popular Fiction: A Digital Archive

Note: For purposes of this list “Australian” is defined loosely and may include authors who wrote books while living in Australia, or who wrote books set in Australia. If you find other texts for this list, or better links to any of the books listed, please let us know via the contact page.