Dorothy Auchterlonie Green (1915-1991). Courtesy Australian Women's Register.

Dorothy Auchterlonie AO (also known as Dorothy Green) (28 May 1915 – 21 February 1991) was an English-born Australian poet, academic, and literary critic.


Auchterlonie was born in Sunderland, County Durham in England. In 1927 when she was 12 years old, her family moved to Australia.[1]

Educated in both England and Australia, Auchterlonie went on to study at the University of Sydney, where she completed a first-class honours and then an M.A. in English. During her time there Auchterlonie became a member of an elite group that included the brilliant and flamboyant[2] poet James McAuley, Joan Fraser (who wrote under the pseudonym Amy Witting), Harold Stewart, Oliver Somerville, Alan Crawford and Ronald Dunlop. James McAuley and Harold Stewart were later to become notorious for perpetrating the Ern Malley hoax. The group was described by Peter Coleman in his book on James McAuley, as the 'sourly brilliant literary circle',[3][4] an oblique reference to Thomas de Quincey.[5]

In 1944, Auchterlonie married literary historian and critic, Henry Mackenzie Green (1881–1962), who was then the Librarian at the University of Sydney.[1]

Auchterlonie worked as an ABC broadcaster and journalist in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra from 1942 to 1949, and in 1955 became co-principal of a Queensland school. In 1961 she became the first female lecturer at Monash University, lecturing in literature. Her teaching career included positions at both the Australian National University and the Australian Defence Force Academy.

During her academic career (1961–1987) she threw herself into championing Australian literature and publishing literary criticism to re establish authors she felt were undervalued, notably Martin Boyd, E. L. Grant Watson,[6] Patrick White, ‘Henry Handel Richardson’, Christopher Brennan, Christina Stead and Kylie Tennant. In 1963, after publisher Angus & Robertson had approached her for an abridgement suitable for students, she began to revise her husband H. M. Green’s massive History of Australian Literature, republished in two volumes in 1985. Her major study of Henry Handel Richardson, Ulysses Bound was published in 1973 and revised in 1986.[7] From 1970 she had begun researching a major biography of writer and biologist E. L. Grant Watson, which led to the publication of Descent of Spirit in 1990, but at her death in 1991 the project remained uncompleted.

Along with supporting environmental causes and volunteer work for the Australian Council of Churches, she was also prominent in campaigning with an ADFA colleague, David Headon, in speeches and writing against nuclear arms. She visited Moscow in 1987 as one of nine Australian delegates invited to a peace forum by the USSR Government.[8]

In 1991 a collection of Auchterlonie's writings and papers was purchased by the National Library of Australia.[9] Additional papers and documents are held in the Australian Defence Force Academy Library, Canberra.


Auchterlonie was awarded an Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1984 and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1998 for her services to literature, teaching and writing.[10]



as Dorothy Auchterlonie
  • Kaleidoscope. Viking Press, 1940
  • The Dolphin. Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1967.
  • Something to Someone: Poems. Canberra: Brindabella Press, 1983.


as Dorothy Green
  • Fourteen Minutes: Short sketches of Australian poets and their works from Harpur to the present day (with H.M. Green). Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1950.[11]
  • Ulysses Bound: Henry Handel Richardson and her Fiction. Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1973;[11] Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1986.
  • A History of Australian Literature by H.M. Green, 2nd edition. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, Australia 1984.
  • The Music of Love: Critical essays on literature and life. Penguin, 1984.
  • Henry Handel Richardson and her Fiction. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1986.
  • The Writer, the Reader and the Critic in a Monoculture. James Cook University of North Queensland, 1986.
  • Writer Reader Critic. Primevera Press, 1990.
  • The Writer, the Reader and the Critic in a Monoculture. Foundation for Australian Literary Studies 1986; Sydney: Primavera Press, 1991.


  • Australian Poetry 1968. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1968.
  • Imagining the Real: Australian Writing in the Nuclear Age (edited with David Headon). ABC Enterprises for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 1987.
  • Descent of Spirit: Writings of E.L. Grant Watson. Sydney: Primavera Press, 1990.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy ACT Writers Showcase.[12]

See alsoEdit



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Green, Dorothy (birth name: Auchterlonie, Dorothy )". AustLit Agent. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  2. "McAuley, James". Austlit Agent. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  3. Coleman, Peter (1980). The heart of James McAuley : life and work of the Australian poet. Sydney: Wildcat Press. p. 132 p. ISBN 0908463057. 
  4. "An introduction to the life and work of Amy Witting: Australian realist fiction writer and poet". Flinder's University. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  5. "Biographical Essays, by Thomas de Quincey". Retrieved 2007-08-04. 
  6. Green, Dorothy ‘The Daimon and the Fringe-Dweller: The Novels of Grant Watson’ Meanjin Quarterly Vol. 30 no. 3, Spring 1971
  7. Oxford Companion to Australian Literature Wilde, Hooton, Andrews, Oxford University Press, Melbourne 1994
  8. McDonald, Willa Warrior for Peace: Dorothy Auchterlonie Green Australian Scholarly Publishing 2010
  9. "MS 5678 Papers of Dorothy Green (1915-1991)". 
  10. "Australian Government: Queen's Birthday Honours". 2006-12-12. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Search results = au:Dorothy Auchterlonie, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 21, 2014.
  12. Dorothy Auchterlonie Green (1914-1991), ACT Writers Showcase. Web, Apr. 22, 2014.

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