chapter  9
14 Pages

Nation-Building in Australia: The Pre-Federation Children’s Novels of Ethel Turner

ByJAN KEANE

Australian children in the late nineteenth century were becoming different from British children, and their newly emerging character refl ected the local context and circumstances. In the 1890s, the Australian colonies were approaching Federation, and the country’s literary life had begun to blossom. The iconic children’s writer of this period was Ethel Turner (1870-1958), whose fi rst novel, Seven Little Australians, was published in 1894, and has been continuously in print ever since. Turner’s popularity and the extent of her readership are widely acknowledged.