Seven Little Australians Manuscript by Ethel Turner

Seven Little Australians Manuscript by Ethel Turner

Country  Australia
Repository  State Library of New South Wales, Corner of Macquarie Street and Shakespeare Place, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Section  Inscriptions on Asia-Pacific National Registers
Gender Dimension  Achievements of women in history; Stories from women's perspective
GEM  GEM 2– Gender Responsive
Description  Ethel Turner (1870 – 1958) was an English-born Australian novelist and children's literature writer. Her best known work is her first novel, Seven Little Australians. The original 1893 manuscript is the tangible embodiment of Turner’s creative process.

The novel Seven Little Australians was first published in 1894 and has been in print longer than any other Australian children’s book. The story focuses on seven siblings growing up in Australia with an authoritarian father and a young, very busy stepmother. It was the first Australian children’s book to feature a girl as the hero, thus contributing to the foundation of girls’ literature in Australia. It was also the first work of family fiction to portray Australian life in an authentically Australian voice.

Turner’s choice of a determined female protagonist, Judy Woolcot, provided generations of Australian girls with a role model to which they could aspire. Judy is rebellious, independent, eloquent and for the most part responsible. With the creation of this character, Turner highlights the expectations of females in society at the turn of the century and challenges the gender stereotyping that was so prevalent in children’s fiction at that time.

The documentary heritage was inscribed onto the Australian Memory of the World register in 2019.
Reference  -


- Photo credit: © State Library of New South Wales