The Mysterious Box, Dorothy Cottrell

Australian Women Writers Gen 3 Week 12-18 Jan. 2020

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Jess White, author of Hearing Maud, currently doing a writer-in-residence gig in Munich, and valued contributor to Gens 1 and 2 has for Gen 3 come up with the romantic figure of once well-known best-selling author, Dorothy Cottrell.

Jessica White Jessica White

Cottrell was born in Picton, NSW in 1905 and contracted polio five years later. She spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair. This didn’t stop her from attending art school, moving to her uncle’s farm and becoming a crack shot with a rifle, eloping with her uncle’s bookkeeper to Dunk Island, moving back to Sydney to make money from her drawings, and then to American to escape the tax office. Read on …

13 thoughts on “The Mysterious Box, Dorothy Cottrell

    • There’s a few I hadn’t heard of until WG’s recent women writers of the 1930s post. Jess mentions an autobiographical novel – opens window to look it up – The Singing Gold (1928) which sounds worth chasing up.


  1. Dorothy Cottrell has appeared in a couple of my Monday Musings, but I’ve never read any of her books. Jess’s post, and her review of Thee singing gold inspire me to try to read her one day. She sounds like an interesting woman. Any, how wonderful to have her here in your list now.


    • She’s actually appeared in THREE Monday musings, spanning 1902 (the year she was born), 1930s and 1947!

      I meant to add to Jess’s post that I only recently saw Orphan of the Wilderness, which was adapted from one of her novels. It’s an interesting movie in itself – not so much for the story but for the art of the film.


      • You’re up early this morning. Now, I really must have breakfast and get going. By this evening I’ll be through Adelaide, so I must start the day on Victorian time and end it on WA time which makes for a long day.


      • Oh it sure will. Drive safely. (I have a long drive today too – to Thredbo! I think that will be a little over 2 hours! Haha! This is why I’m up – I wanted to get some of this blogging catch-up done.)

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      • We’ll have to tell her to hurry up with Georgiana Molloy. She has work to do. (BTW You’re up early – or are you over here in the east at the moment, so just a bit early not VERY early?)


  2. And she moved to America where she achieved her greatest fame so it’s possible you’ll run into her works over there. I’ll certainly be looking out for the fictionalised bio.


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