The State Library of NSW has acquired the diaries, love letters and personal items of one of Australia’s most prolific writers, Ethel Turner. A special viewing was hosted on International Women’s Day (8 March) to celebrate her remarkable life as an author, journalist, social campaigner, mother and wife.
During her lifetime, it was unusual for a woman to continue working after marriage. Her ability to produce a novel each year for 34 years, following her successful debut work Seven Little Australians in 1894, is nothing short of amazing. Not to mention the fact that by 1923 her earnings of £1543 exceeded her husband Herbert Raine Curlewis’s judicial salary!
As well as the diaries, which Ethel kept for 62 years, the collection includes passionate love letters from Herbert, her secret engagement bracelet, pen money book and original photographs.