Mary Gaunt: a biography

Hickman, Bronwen (1998) Mary Gaunt: a biography. Research Master thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


If a nation's story is told by the weaving together of the strands of individual lives, the biographies of its achievers, then the story of Mary Gaunt adds an important thread of colour and interest to the tapestry of Australia's identity. Born on the Victorian goldfields in 1861, she grew up in Colonial Victoria. She was the first woman to study at Melbourne University. She travelled in the forests of West Africa and across China and wrote books and gave lectures on her travels. She was a successful novelist; she pushed against the limitations of women's lives in her own life and in her fiction, and one of her books was banned in England as a result. She lived in Europe for the second half of her life, but remained proudly Australian; many of her books were set in Australia. Her depiction of life on the goldfields, in the bush, in shanty towns in the Colonies, and in particular her depiction of life for women, is a valuable record of a world long gone.

Additional Information

Master of Arts

Item type Thesis (Research Master thesis)
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Communication and the Arts
Historical > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Historical > FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
Keywords literature, Mary Gaunt, Australian novelists, biography
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