Ethel anderson

Ethel Anderson (1883-1938). Courtesy PoemHunter.

Ethel Louise Anderson (née Campbell) (16 March 1883 – 4 August 1958) was an early 20th-century Australian poet, essayist and novelist. She considered herself to be mainly a poet, but is now best appreciated for her witty and ironic stories.[1]


Ethel Anderson was born in Royal Leamington Spa, in Warwickshire, England of Australian parents.[2] Her family soon moved back to Australia and she grew up in Sydney and at Rangamatty (near Picton), New South Wales. She was educated at the Church of England Girls' Grammar School in Sydney.[3] In 1904 she married Brigadier-General Austin Anderson in Bombay, where she had accompanied him on his posting. In 1907 they had a daughter.

At the beginning of World War I her husband was posted to France and Anderson moved to Cambridge, England, where she studied drawing at Downing College and exhibited some of her work. They later lived in Worcestershire, and on her husband's retirement from the army in 1924 the family moved to Turramurra, New South Wales, where he was secretary to several State Governors.

There Anderson associated with contemporary artists such as Roy de Maistre and Grace Cossington Smith and an exhibition of Roland Wakelin's work was held at her home. She also wrote about their work for magazines such as Art in Australia and Home, while her poetry and stories were published in The Spectator, Punch, the Cornhill Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Bulletin. Her poetry was influenced by her knowledge of French literature and Modernist work, with considerable formal and metrical experimentation. Her poem The Song of Hagar was set to music by John Antill.

The death of her husband in 1949 meant that she had to support herself, which she did through her writing, serialising her first novel At Parramatta in The Bulletin. She died on 4 August 1958 in Sydney.[4]

Publications Edit


  • Squatter's Luck, and other poems. Melbourne & London: Melbourne University Press / Oxford University Press, 1942.
  • Sunday At Yarralumla: A symphony. Sydney & London: Angus & Robertson, 1947.
  • The Song of Hagar to the Patriarch Abraham. Sydney: Edwards & Shaw, 1957.


  • Indian Tales. Sydney: Australasian Publishing, 1948.
  • At Parramatta. Melbourne: F.W. Chesser, 1956.
  • The Little Ghosts. Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1959.


  • Adventures In Appleshire. Sydney & London: Angus & Robertson, 1944.
  • Timeless Garden. Sydney: Australasian Publishing, 1945.

Collected editionsEdit

  • The Best of Ethel Anderson (edited by John Martin Douglas Pringle). Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1973.


  • Joy of Youth: The letters of Patrick Hore-Ruthven. London: P. Davies, 1950.

Except where noted, bibliographical information ocurtesy WorldCat.[5]

See also Edit

References Edit

  • Adelaide, Debra (1986) Australian Women Writers: A Bibliographic Guide, London, Pandora


  1. Adelaide (1986) p. 3
  2. Rutledge, Martha (2000). "Anderson, Ethel Campbell Louise (1883 - 1958)". Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  3. Australian Verse: An Illustrated Treasury, edited by Beatrice Davis, State Library of New South Wales Press, 1996
  4. Australian Verse: An Illustrated Treasury, edited by Beatrice Davis, State Library of New South Wales Press, 1996
  5. Search results = au:Ethel Anderson, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 19, 2014.

External linksEdit

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