Zora Cross has been one of the big surprises of AWW Gen 3 for me. I guess each generation of writers has ‘unknowns’ who prove to be tremendously interesting and Cross is one of those. This repost is from historian and blogger, Janine The Resident Judge of Port Phillip.
The Resident Judge of Port Phillip
“Twenty pounds and you shall have her” and thus were the publishing rights for Songs of Love and Life transferred from a small self-publishing bookshop to that of the publishing behemoth, Angus and Robertson in 1917. This book of sixty erotic love-sonnets was to become a literary sensation, going through three reprints and selling a respectable 4000 copies. Its author, 27 year old Zora Cross, wrote about love and sensuality from a woman’s perspective – something shocking in 1917. Read on …
The title for this post is a straight steal from a post written by Whispering Gums (Sue) in 2014 (here) based on an article by Zora Cross in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1935. It is not my intention to plagiarise Sue, but rather to research the largely unknown women writers Cross lists for my Australian Women Writers Gen 3 page (here), though as it turns out, most of them are Gen 2 by age, or even Gen 1.
I was inspired to research by this line in Sue’s post:
[Daniel] Hamlyn, she says, won The Bulletin’s second novel competition, the first one having been jointly won by Katharine Susannah Prichard and M. Barnard Eldershaw.
Neither Sue nor I were able to find any other mention of Hamlyn (not by Google, the Annals of Australian Literature, nor the Oxford Companion), and I’m pretty sure (now!) that the second winner, in 1929, was Vance Palmer with The Passage. On the other hand, Zora Cross was there and should know.
Cross’s actual words are “Daniel Hamlyn, a winner in the second “Bulletin” novel competition, and a promising woman writer, is another” [of Mary Gilmore’s “discoveries”]. Who Hamlyn is will have to stay a mystery for a bit longer.
Three hours, and a few glasses of wine, later. Got it! In Trove, in a story about Vance Palmer. Second prize in 1929 went to Mrs Kay Glasson Taylor.
Final step Wikipedia. Kay Glasson Taylor’s novels “include Ginger for Pluck (published under the pseudonym “Daniel Hamline”, for young readers, 1929 … Her fiction is still read as a representation of white Australian women’s experiences of gender and race in the context of colonialism”. (Read by whom, I wonder).
Postscript. Taylor, Kay Glasson (‘David Hamline’) does get a few lines in the Oxford Companion.
The other writers Sue mentions (where I can, I list their pen names, invaluable for searching on Trove) are –
Novelist and feminist. AKA Ada Kidgell, Marcus Malcolm, Nardoo, Myee. “A recurring theme to her stories was tension in marriage as when a wife’s interests were suppressed or ignored, or a woman married unwillingly from economic necessity or family pressure.” Married NSW Labor politician and sometime Premier WA Holman.
Wheelchair-bound by polio as an infant, she and her husband were inveterate vagabonds, living in and writing about outback Australia, Dunk Island (with ‘beachcomber’ Edmund Banfield), Florida and the Carribean. Mary Gilmore wrote, “Mrs. Cottrell writes Australia as it has never been written before.”
Jessie Urquhart ()
Nothing published under that name in the years 1925-1945
Whispering Gums, 1930s, moving beyond “gumleaf” and “goanna” (here)
Whispering Gums, The novel in Australia, 1927-style, Part 1 (here)
Whispering Gums, The novel in Australia, 1927-style, Part 2 (here)
Ponderings of a retired Tasmanian, photographing, animal loving, book reading, travelling, motorbike riding penguin, growing old disgracefully, who still loves old Penguin books and sharing our world with others.