Ethel Turner was an Australian novelist and children's writer.


Ethel Turner was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England on 24th January, 1872. She migrated to Australia with her widowed mother, older sister Lilian and step sister, Jeannie in 1880.

Educated at Sydney Girls’ High School, she and Lilian wrote stories and edited magazines - first the Iris and then the Parthenon. The Parthenon came out monthly and sold for sixpence a copy, generally selling about 1500 copies per month. Both sisters used pseudonyms to give the impression that the various sections of the magazine were written by a number of contributors, whilst in reality the two sisters did all the writing themselves. Being the younger sister, Ethel was left to do the children’s page.

Ethel went on to write The Children’s Page in the Illustrated Sydney News, which was later taken over by Town and Country Journal. She also contributed to the Bulletin and the English Windsor Magazine.

At the age of 22, Ethel Turner had Seven Little Australians accepted and published by Ward Lock. Interviewed by Life magazine ten years later she related ‘How I wrote Seven Little Australians’. The sequel Family at Misrule was published in 1895; the next in the series Little Mother Meg in 1902 and Judy and Punch, the story of Judy’s time away at boarding school, much later , in 1928.

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