1870s

The following list provides links to texts by well-known as well as forgotten or overlooked Australian women writers published in the 1870s 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.”. “Mrs Calvert” and “L.C.” (Titles entered in ANFD.)
—–. A Voice from the Country (24 May 1870; 16 Jun 1870)
—–. Tom Hellicar’s Children (1871; published in hard copy by Mulini Press in 1983, available from State Library of NSW), serialised in Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, ch1; ch2 (mislabelled as 3?); ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; chs 11 and 12; ch13; chs 14 and 15; chs 16 and 17; ch18; ch19; ANFD entry.
—–. Tressa’s Resolve (1872), serialised in Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14 and ch15; ch16; ANFD entry.

Baker, Hannah Newton (-30/10/1904). Little so far has been discovered about the life of this author. Baker published under the initials “H.N.B.” in periodicals such as Melbourne Review and Victorian Review (hard copies of these exist in State Library of New South Wales but as of Nov 2021 are not digitised on TROVE), essays including “Religion and Education”, “Ode on the Opening of the Exhibition”. Note: a notice for an auction of “Mrs. Hannah Newton Baker’s” estate appeared in January 1905 in the Geelong Advertiser, describing her weatherboard residence, “Bitah Conah”, in Bellarine Street.
—–. Sketches of Australian Life and Scenery, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, London, 1876, 350 pp. downloadable as pdf
—–. “Some of Australia’s Claims on Her Women” (1878; essay) in Hopkins, F. R. C (ed.), The Australian Ladies’ Annual, M’Carron, Bird & Co., Melbourne, 1878, pp. 14-22. A contemporary reviewer of this volume recorded the following remarks:

Of the papers of a reflective kind we may notice with warm praise an admirably written paper by H.N.B., who points out ably and wisely “Some of Australia’s Claims on Her Women”, and shows, among other things, how much good social work in softening down class differences, and so mitigating class animosities and lessening political dangers, can be done by bright, intelligent, sympathetic Australian women if they will undertake it. (The Australasian 9 Nov 1878)

—–. Frank Carey: a story of Victorian life, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, London, 1877. downloadable as pdf. A brief 1877 review appears here.

Bode, Ettie aka Bode, Mrs. J. A. aka Ettie E Ayeliffe (1836-1920).
—–. ‘The Islander‘, in Hopkins, F. R. C (ed.), The Australian Ladies’ Annual, M’Carron, Bird & Co., Melbourne, 1878, pp. 53-63. short story
—–. Old Love Letters (1870), serialised in The Adelaide Observer, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14; ANFD entry.

Caffyn, Kathleen; Caffyn, Mrs Mannington aka Iota (1853-1926), Kooroona: A Tale of South Australia  (romance; 1871)

Cambridge, Ada. aka “A.C.” and “Ada Cross”.
—–. “A Christmas Message“, (1879).
—–. The Captain’s Charge (1879), serialised in Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, chs 1 and 2; ch3; ch3 (cont.); ch3 (cont.) and ch4; ch5; ch5 (cont.) and ch6; chs 7 and 8; ch9; ch9 (cont.); ANFD entry.
—–. “Charlie” (1872), published in The Armidale Express.
—–. In Two Years Time (1879), serialised in The Australasian, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; chs 14-15; ch16; ch17; ch18; ch19; ch20; ch21; ch22; ANFD entry.
—–. “Our New Chum” (1871) published in The Armidale Express.
—–. “Rachel Lindsay” (1878), published in The Capricornian, part 1 and part 2.
—–. Up The Murray (1875), serialised in The Australasian, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch10 (cont.); ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14; links to chapters found with assistance of the ANFD. Text of the beginning of chapter 11 transcribed into TROVE from State Library of NSW copy.

Chads, Ellen Augusta aka “E.A.C.” and “Mrs E A Chads” (circa 1837/1843-1923). “Graham Jocelyn’s Revenge” (1879; short story available via TROVE). A revenge tale with a twist.
—–. “How Douglas Cameron Found His Wife” (1879): start 5 May, 6 May, 7 May, 8 May (final).
—–. “Two Christmas Eves” (1879; short story available via TROVE)

Couvreur, Jessie Catherine, aka “Tasma”.
—–. A Philanthropist’s Experiment (1878), serialised in The Australasian ch1; ch2; ch3; ANFD entry.
—–. Monsieur Caloche (1879), published in The Australasian ch1; ch2.

Davidson, Harriet Miller (1839-188?).
—–. A Man of Genius, serialised in The Adelaide Observer, (1872): 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 30-31; ch32; ch33; ch34; ch35; ch36; ch37; ch38; ch39; ANFD entry.
—–. The Hamiltons: A story of Australian Life, published in serial form in Chambers Journal, 1878: Chapter 1, Ch2, Ch3, Ch4, Ch5, ch6, Ch7, Ch8, Ch9, Ch10, Ch11, Ch12, Ch13 (final). Caveat: This novella contains distressing examples of racism towards Indigenous Australians; the racism is exhibited by the narrator as well as the characters.

“Edith.” . [Identified as female and Australian in ANFD.]
—–. Olive Vanstone (1878) Serialised in Illustrated Sydney News and New South Wales Agriculturalist and Grazier, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; chs 6-7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11ch12; ANFD entry.

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 +.
—–. “A Christmas Sketch” (1879), available via TROVE.
—–. “A Woman’s Revenge; Or, Almost Lost”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VI, 69 (1 Feb 1871).+
—–. “The Bushranger’s Autobiography”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VI, 76 (starts 1 Sep 1871, continues: 1 Oct, 1 Nov, 1 Dec, 1 Jan 1872, 1 Feb, 1 Mar, concludes: Jun 1 1872).+
—–. “Charlie Hearn’s Fate”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal X, 124 (1 Sep 1875).+
—-. “The Commissioner’s Cousin”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal V, 56 (1 Jan 1870).
—–. “Condemned By A Bracelet”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XII, 136 (1 Sep 1876).+
—–. “Covet’s Corner”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XI, 133 (1 Jun 1876).+
—–. “The Dead Girl’s Garter,” (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal V, 57 (1 Feb 1870).+
—–. “Denbigh’s Lead’, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XI, 132 (1 May 1876).+
—-. “The Detective’s Album”, Australian Journal V, 63 (1 Aug 1870).+
—–. “The Diamond Roberry’, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VI, 70 (1 Mar 1871).+
—–. “Disinterred”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XI, 130 (1 Mar 1876).+
—–. “The Double Cross on the Rock”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal V, 60 (1 May 1870).+
—–. “The Double Suicide”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XI, 134 (1 Jul 1876).+
—–. “Down By the Yarra”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal V, 61 (1 Jun 1870).+
—–. “The Evidences of the Grave”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal V, 64 (1 Sep 1870).+
—–. “Faithful Tom”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XII, 138 (1 Nov 1876).+
—–. “Forgiven Too Late”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XII, 137 (1 Oct 1876).+
—–. “The Ghost in the Garden”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VII, 87 (1 Aug 1872).+
—–. “The Gully Hut”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal X, 126 (1 Nov 1875).+
—–. “The Hart Murder”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VI, 65 (1 Oct 1870).+
—–. “John Dunn’s Revenge”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal X, 122 (1 Jul 1875).+
—–. “The Lady in No. 4”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XI, 129 (1 Feb 1876).+
—–. “The Last Scene”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VI, 66 (1 Nov 1870).+
—–. “The Lost Bride”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VI, 74 (1 Jul 1871).+
—–. “Lost in Town”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VII, 90 (1 Nov 1872).+
—–. “The Madman’s Dream”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XI, 1135 (1 Aug 1876).+
—–. “Marden’s Revenge”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XI, 131 (1 Apr 1876).+
—–. “The Masked Lady”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VII, 83 (1 Apr 1872, cont. 1 May).+
—–. “The Midnight Burial”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VII, 88 (1 Sep 1872).+
—–. “Moya Ryan’s Christmas Box” (1879)
—–. “The Narrowvale Tragedies”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VII, 86 (1 Jul 1872).+
—–. “The Silk Robbery”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal X, 127 (1 Dec 1875).+
—–. “One Year” (1878; in 2 parts), ch1, ch2.
—–. “The Stolen Deed”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal X, 123 (1 Aug 1875).+
—–. “The Story of Eskdale”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VI, 73 (1 Jun 1871).+
—–. “The Story of Tara Wee”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal X, 125 (1 Oct 1875).+
—–. “The Sundowner’s Curse”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XI, 128 (1 Jan 1876).+
—–. “The Terrace Walk”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal X, 121 (1 Jun 1875).+
—–. “To Be Left Till Called For”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VI, 68 (1 Jan 1871).+
—–. “Traced By A Knife”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal XII, 139 (1 Dec 1876).+
—–. “The Twenty-Ninth of November”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal VI, 67 (1 Dec 1870).+
—–. “The Wattle-Farm Tragedy”, (The Detective’s Album), Australian Journal V, 62 (1 Jul 1870).+ Also available on TROVE.
—–. “The Widow’s Ban – An Original Christmas Tale” (1878)
—–. Wongawarra (1876), serialised in Alexandra Times, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6ANFD entry.

Franc, Maude Jean.
—–. No Longer A Child (1872), serialised in The Leader, Chs 1-2; chs 3-4; chs 5-6; chs 7-8; chs 9-10; chs 11-12; chs 13-14; chs 15-16; chs 16-18; chs 18 (cont.)-19; chs 20-21;chs 22-23; chs 24-25; chs 26-27; chs 28-29; ch 30 (final); ANFD entry.

Goldney, Jessie Maria.
—–. A Woman’s Faith (1876), serialised in Bunyip, ch1; chs 1 (cont.) ch2; ch2 (cont.); ch3; ch4; ch5; ANFD entry.
—–. Isabella Randall’s Dream (1877), serialised in Southern Argus, ch1; ch2; ch3; Chs 3 (cont.)-4; ch4 (cont.); ANFD entry.
—–. Like A Dream (1879), serialised in  Southern Argus, ch1; ch2; ch3; ANFD entry.
—–. Our Carrie (1877), serialised in Southern Argus, ch1; ch2; ch3; ANFD entry.

Heathfield, Alice. [Identified as female and Australian in ANFD]
—–. For Ever and Aye: A Sydney Romance. Serialised in Evening News, ch1; chs 2-3; chs 4-5; chs 6-8; chs 9-10; chs12-13 [mislabelled? can’t find 11]; chs 14-15; ch16; chs 17-19; chs 20-21; chs 22-23; chs 24-25; ch26; chs 27-31; ch 32-33; chs 33 (cont.)-35; chs 35-38; chs 39-40; ch41; ANFD entry.

Heron, E. Australie. [Identified as female and Australian in ANFD]
—–. The Faeryland of the Genevese: A Prose Idyl (1878), serialised in Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertise, ch1; ch2; chs 3-4; chs 5-6; ch7; ANFD entry.

Hill, Cecilia (?-?).
—–. The Three Troopers‘, in Hopkins, F. R. C (ed.), The Australian Ladies’ Annual, M’Carron, Bird & Co., Melbourne, 1878, pp. 32-43. See Hill’s spirited reply to an unfavourable review of her novel Checkmated (on TROVE: South Australian Chronical and Weekly Mail, 28 Dec 1828 p20). A snippet on her travels (11 Jan 1890) is mentioned here.

Liston, Ellen aka “Ellie L*****” (1838-1885): Liston’s obituary from the Adelaide Observer 29 Aug 1885 reads:

Death of Miss Liston.—Very sincere regret will be felt by many of our readers at the death of Miss Ellen Liston at Marrabel. Miss Liston was a lady of great literary talent, whose writings have been for many years a source of great enjoyment to the readers of the weekly newspapers. For the past two or three years failing health prevented Miss Liston engaging in the literary work which she loved so well, but the charm of the tales and verse which have appeared under the signature of “Ellie L.” will be long re-membered. Miss Liston began her literary career by contributing to the weekly paper published in Adelaide by the late Mr. Sinnett, but for the past twenty years most of her contributions have appeared in the Adelaide Observer. Her novel “The Stauntons” will still be remembered by many of our readers, but “Auckland Marston” will be more familiar to residents in the colony of Victoria, where it was published. Besides these novels Miss Liston wrote many small poems and a number of short stories, which have appeared in the Observer often at Christmastime. Among the latter those which will be most readily remembered are some of the more recent ones—”Tread upon Roses, but Forget Me Not,” “Doctor,” “Our Domestic Helps,” and “Our Baggage Mule.” Miss Liston has left an unpublished novel, “The Kessons.” Miss Liston was formerly in the Education Department, but failing health compelled her to abandon the arduous duty of teaching, and for several years and until her death she occupied the position of mistress of the Post and Telegraph Office at Marrabel. The deceased lady was a sister of Messrs. Henry Liston of Adelaide, W. Liston of Kapunda, and D. Liston of Port Adelaide.

(It appears the early short works mentioned above, although originally published from the 1870s onwards, were published posthumously under the title Pioneer Stories in 1936. Nothing about her unpublished novel, “The Kessons”, has yet come to our attention.)

—–. Auckland Marston: An Australian Story serialised in Melbourne Leader 1879-1880: Ch1 & Ch2 (Nov 29 1879); Ch3 (Nov 29); Ch4 & Ch5 (Dec 6); cont. Ch5 (Dec 6); Ch6 (Dec13); Ch7 (Dec 13); Ch8 (Dec 20); Ch9 (Dec 20); start Ch10 (brief; Dec27); cont. Ch10 (Dec27); Ch11 (Dec27); Ch12 (Jan 3); Ch13 (Jan 3); Ch14 (Jan 10); Ch15 (Jan 10); Ch16 (Jan 17); Cont. Ch16 (Jan 17); Ch17 (Jan24); Ch 18 (Jan 24); Ch19 (Jan 31); cont. Ch19 (Jan31); cont. Ch19 (Feb 7 – short); Ch20 (Feb7); cont. Ch20 (Feb 14); Ch21 (Feb 14); cont. Ch21 (Feb 21); cont. Ch21 (Feb21) final.

—–. The Stauntons, serialised in Adelaide Observer: Ch1 (May 13); Ch2 (May 13); Ch3 (May 13); Ch4 (May20); Ch5 (May 20); Ch6 (May20); Ch7 (May 27); Ch8 (May 27); Ch9 (May 27); Ch10 (Jun 3); Ch11 (Jun 3); Ch12 (Jun3); Ch13 (Jun10); Ch14 (Jun 10);  Ch15 (Jun 17); Ch16 (Jun 17); Ch17 (Jun 24); Ch18 (Jul 1); Ch25 (Aug 12); Ch26 (Aug 19); Ch27 (Aug 26) final.

Manning, Emily (1845-1890), Cupid on a Swiss Tour: or Pictures among the Snow Mountains. A Story for Girls (1874) Available serialised on TROVE: chs 1-2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14; ch15; ch16; ch17; ch18; ch19; ch20; ANFD entry.

Martin, Catherine. aka “M.C.”
—–. A Bohemian Born (1878).
—–. “After Many Years” (1878), published in Evening Journal, chs 1&2.
—–. “Breaking the Law” (1879), published in Evening Journal.
—–. The Moated Grange (1877), serialised in South Australian Chronicle and Weekly Mail, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7 (mislabelled XVIII?); 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; ch38 (mislabelled? should be 37?); ANFD entry.

Mathers, Helen, (1853-1920), Cherry Ripe! : a romance, George Robertson and Co., Melbourne, 1878, 439 pp.

Meredith, Louisa Anne (1812-1895), aka Meredith, L. A. Dept Communities Tasmania bio. Australian Dictionary of Biography shared entry with husband Charles. Colonial Australian Popular Fiction Database bio.
—–. “Grandmamma’s verse book for young Australia” [not yet available online]
—-. Our island home : a Tasmanian sketch book, Hobart Town: J. Walch; London: Marcus Ward, 1879. [No online copy has been found for this; its content is mentioned briefly here.]
—–. To My Husband‘, in Hopkins, F. R. C (ed.), The Australian Ladies’ Annual, M’Carron, Bird & Co., Melbourne, 1878, pp. 13-14.

Merson, Mary J. aka Mrs M J M (1827-1904), Emily Graham; or, The Dawning of light: a temperance tale, James Curtis, Caxton, Ballarat, 1870, 299 pp.

Parkes, Clarinda aka “Ariel”.
—–. Fallen By The Way (1871), serialised in Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ch6; ch7; ch8; ch9; ch10; ch11; ch12; ch13; ch14; ch15; ch16; ch17; chs 18-19; chs 20-21; chs 22-23; ch24; chs 25-26; chs 27-28; chs 29-30; chs 31-32; chs 33-34; chs 35-36; chs 37-38; ch39; ANFD entry.
—–. Mrs Ord (1878), serialised in Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertiser, chs 1-2; chs 3-5; ch6; ch7; ch8?; chs 9-10; chs 11-12; chs 13-14; ch15-16; chs 17-18; chs 19-20; chs 21-22; ANFD entry.
—–. Only Her Woman’s Wit to Aid Her (1872), serialised in Sydney Illustrated News; ch1; ch2; ch3; ch4; ch5; ANFD entry.

Scott, Maria Jane.** (1822-1899; NSW death registration #6795/1899; nee Barney; married David C F Scott in 1838) aka M.I.S.T. and Spray (children’s fiction), Not So Ugly (1871) Also known as a painter.

Spence, Catherine Helen, aka C.H. Spence.
—–. Afloat or Ashore (1878), short story serialised in The Australasian, ch1; ch2; ch3; ANFD entry.
—–. Hester’s Christmas Gift (1878), serialised in Sydney Mail and New South Wales Advertise, ch1; ch2; ANFD entry.

Stanley, Effie.** (1836?-1894)
—–. The Wilmots: A South Australian Story
(1877)

Winstanley, Eliza. ADB entry; The Conversation essay.
—–. The Flower of Botany Bay (1879), serialised in The Inquirer and Commercial News, ch1; ch2; ch3; ANFD entry.
—–. Twenty Straws (1874), serialised in Newcastle Chronicle, Ch1, Ch1 (cont.); ch2; ch2 (cont.); chs 3-4; ch4 (cont.)-5; ch6; chs 8 (mislabelled? should be ch7?)-9; chs 10-12; ch13; chs 14-17; chs 18-19; chs 20-21; chs 22-23; chs 24-26; chs 27-28; chs 29-33; chs 34-36; chs 37-38; ch39; ch40 (5 Sep 1874); [chs 41-42 Sat 12 Sep 1874: Newcastle Chronicle issue missing from TROVE, hard copy available at NSW State Library; novel reprinted in The Southern Argus in 1884, chapters 41-42 from there: ch41 (16 Oct 84); ch41 (cont. mislabelled 40? 18 Oct 84); ch41 (cont. 21 Oct 84); ch42 (23 Oct 84); ch42 (23 Oct 84);] chs 43-44; ch45; ch46; ch47; ANFD entry.

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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.