21 November 1844|
St Germans, Norfolk, England
19 July 1926 (aged 81)|
|Cause of death||Heart failure|
|Other names||A.C. and Ada Cross|
|Occupation||Novelist, poet, memoirist and journalist|
|Spouse||Rev. George Frederick Cross|
|Children||Five, including Dr K. Stuart Cross|
|Parents||Henry and Thomasine Cambridge|
Overall she wrote more than 25 works of fiction, 3 volumes, of poetry and 2 autobiographical works. Many of her novels were serialised in Australian newspapers, and were never published in book form.
While she was known to friends and family by her married name, Ada Cross, she was known to her newspaper readers as A.C.. Later in her career she reverted to her maiden name, Ada Cambridge.
Youth and education Edit
She was born at St Germans, Norfolk, the second child of Thomasine and Henry Cambridge, a gentleman farmer. She was educated by governesses, an experience she abhorred. She wrote in a book of reminiscences: "I can truthfully affirm that I never learned anything which would now be considered worth learning until I had done with them all and started foraging for myself. I did have a few months of boarding-school at the end, and a very good school for its day it was, but it left no lasting impression on my mind." (The Retrospect, chap. IV). It was, in fact, an unmarried aunt who most contributed to her intellectual development.
On 25 April 1870 she was married to the Rev. George Frederick Cross and a few weeks later sailed for Australia. She arrived in Melbourne in August and was surprised to find it a well established city. Her husband was sent to Wangaratta, then to Yackandandah (1872), Ballan (1874), Coleraine (1877), Bendigo (1884) and Beechworth (1885), where they remained until 1893. Her Thirty Years in Australia (1903) describes their experiences in these parishes. She experienced her share of tragedy, including the loss of children to whooping cough and scarlet fever.
Cross initially was the typical hard-working wife of a country clergyman, taking part in all the activities of the parish and incidentally making her own children's clothes. Her health, however, broke down, for a number of reasons including a near-fatal miscarriage and a serious carriage accident, and her activities had to be reduced, but she continued to write.
While Cambridge began writing in the 1870s to make money to help support her children, her formal published career spans from 1865 with Hymns on the Litany and The Two Surplices, to 1922 with an article 'Nightfall' in Atlantic Monthly. According to Barton, her early works 'contain the seeds of her lifelong insistence on and pursuit of physical, spiritual and moral integrity as well as the interweaving of poetry and prose which was to typify her writing career'. Cato writes that 'some of her ideas were considered daring and even a little improper for a clergyman's wife. She touches on extramarital affairs and the physical bondage of wives'.
In 1875 her first novel Up the Murray appeared in the Australasian but was not published separately; and it was not until 1890 with the publication of A Marked Man that her fame as a writer was established. However, despite regular good reviews, there were many who discounted her because she did not write in the literary tradition of the time.
She was inaugural president of the Women Writers Club and honorary life-member of the Lyceum Club of Melbourne, and had many friends in the literary world including Grace 'Jennings' Carmichael, Rolf Boldrewood, Ethel Turner, and George Robertson.
In 1893 Cross and her husband moved to their last parish, Williamstown, near Melbourne, and remained there until 1909. Her husband went on the retired clergy list at the end of 1909 with permission to operate in the diocese until 1912.
In 1913 they both returned to England, where they stayed until his death on 27 February 1917. Ada returned to Australia later that year, and died in Melbourne on 19 July 1926. She was survived by a daughter and a son, Dr K. Stuart Cross.
A street in the Canberra suburb of Cook is named in her honor.
Ada Cambridge PrizeEdit
This prize has been offered since 2005, and is awarded for the best biographical story submitted by a local adult writer. It is announced at the annual Williamstown Literary Festival, where Ada resided for a time when her husband was the vicar of the Holy Trinity Church. The story must be of 1,000–3,000 words and there is no entry fee.
- Hymns on the Litany (by "A.C."). London & Oxford, UK: John Henry & James Parker, 1865; Cambridge, UK: Chadwyck-Healey, 2000
- Hymns on the Holy Communion. London: Houlston & Wright, 1866; Cambridge, UK: Chadwyck-Healey, 2000.
- Echoes. London: William Macintosh, 1869.
- The Manor House, and other poems. London: Daldy, Isbister, 1875.
- Unspoken Thoughts. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 1887.
- The Hand in the Dark, and other poems. London: Heinemann, 1913; Cambridge, UK: Chadwyck-Healey, 2000.
- The Two Surplices: A tale (reprinted from The Churchman's Companion). London: Joseph Masters, 1865.
- Little Jenny. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1867.
- The Vicar's Guest: A tale. London: Joseph Masters, 1869.
- My Guardian: A story of the Fen Country. London: Cassell, 1878.
- In Two Years' Time. (2 volumes), London: Richard Bentley, 1879. Volume I, Volume II.
- A Mere Chance. (3 volumes), London: Richard Bentley, 1882. Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3
- A Marked Man: Some episodes in his life. London: Heinemann, 1890; New York: John W. Lovell, 1890.
- A Black Sheep: Some episodes in his life (serialized version of A Marked Man). Canberra, ACT: Australian Scholarly Editions, 2004.
- The Three Miss Kings. Melbourne: Melville, Mullen, & Slade, 1891; London: 1891.
- Not All In Vain. (3 volumes), London: Heinemann, 1892; Melbourne: Melville, Mullen, & Slade, 1892. Volume I, Volume II, Volume III.
- A Little Minx: A sketch. London: Heinemann, 1893. New York: D. Appleton , 1893.
- A Marriage Ceremony. (2 volumes), London: Hutchinson, 1894.
- Fidelis. (3 volumes), London: Hutchinson, 1895; (1 volume), New York: D. Appleton, 1895.
- A Humble Enterprise. London: Ward Lock, 1896; Melbourne: E.W. Cole, 1896.
- Materfamilias. London: Ward, Lock: 1898; New York: D. Appleton, 1898.
- A Woman's Friendship (Serialised in the Age, 1889; first published in book form in 1988)
- Path and Goal. London: Methuen, 1900.
- The Devastators. London: Methuen, 1901.
- Sisters. London: Hutchinson, 1904; Ringwood, Vic.: Penguin, 1989.
- A Platonic Friendship. London: Hurst & Blackett, 1905.
- A Happy Marriage. London: Hurst & Blackett, 1906.
- The Eternal Feminine. London: Hurst & Blackett, 1907.
- The Retrospect. London: Stanley Paul, 1912.
- The Making of Rachel Rowe. New York: Cassell Novel, 1914.
- At Midnight, and other stories. London: Ward, Lock, & Co., 1897.
- Stories for Choristers. London: Joseph Masters, [1877?]
See also Edit
- Ada Cambridge (1844–1926) Gravesite at Brighton General Cemetery (Vic)
- Barton, Patricia (1988) 'Ada Cambridge: Writing for her Life' in Adelaide, Debra (1988) A Bright and Fiery Troop: Australian Women Writers of the Nineteenth Century, Ringwood, Penguin
- Cato, Nancy (1989) 'Introduction' in Cambridge, Ada (1989) Sisters (Penguin Australian Women's Library)
- Morrison, Elizabeth (1988) 'Editor's introduction' in Cambridge, Ada (1988) A woman's friendship (Colonial Text Series)
- Roe, J.I. (2006) 'Cambridge, Ada (1844–1926)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A030310b.htm
- Serle, Percival (1949). "Cambridge, Ada". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. http://gutenberg.net.au/dictbiog/0-dict-biogCa-Ch.html#cambridge1.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Cato (1989) p. v
- ↑ Morrison (1988) p.xv
- ↑ Brighton Cemetery
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Barton (1988) p. 134
- ↑ Morrison (1988) p. xxvii
- ↑ Morrison (1988) p. xxii
- ↑ Morrison (1988) p. xix
- ↑ Morrison (1988) p. xx
- ↑ Barton (1988) p. 133
- ↑ Gateways November 2007
- ↑ Bradstock, Margaret, "Echoes of Ada Cambridge", AccessMyLibrary.com, September 22, 2005. Web, July 18, 2013.
- ↑ Results page = au:Ada Cambridge, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, July 18, 2013.
- "At Sea" at Poems and Prose.
- Ada Cambridge at Sonnet Central (3 sonnets).
- Selected Poetry of Ada Cambridge (1844-1926) (5 poems) at Representative Poetry Online.
- Cordula's Web features selected poems from Ada Cambridge.
- Ada Cambridge at PoemHunter (110 poems).
- Ada Cambridge (1844-1926) in the Australian Poetry Library (119 poems).
- Works by Ada Cambridge at Project Gutenberg
- manybooks.net offers free PDF formatted works by Ada Cambridge.
- SETIS contains free PDF formatted works and print works for purchase by Ada Cambridge.
- Williamstown Literary Festival contains details of stories shortlisted for, and winners of, the 'Ada Cambridge Writers Prize' in 2008 and 2009.
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