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When beloved author Ethel Turner had to choose between fame and love


Over the next 34 years, Turner produced at least one book a year, for a total of 44 books, edited children’s pages for newspapers, wrote freelance articles and plays, and did philanthropic work. She stopped her writing career in 1930 when her daughter Jean died of tuberculosis at the age of 32.

By 1902, Turner had become a busy young mother to Jean and her baby son Adrian. “There are too many departments in life to be in charge of…there are roll-top desk departments and gardens…there are nurseries and societies that should not be ignored,” she wrote. “Then I have the right to shop, to call my family, and to have my husband leave me free for the night.”

On another occasion, Turner wrote that he had “put away all the appearances of work and had a night of lovers.”

Morley says Turner’s paper reveals a life full of ambitions and aspirations. “Oh my god, she puts us to shame. She was a freelance writer and had a steady gig as an editor for kids pages [including for Sydney’s The Sun]And when one publication folded, she picked up another. “

Ethel Turner.credit:New South Wales State Library Collection

Most critics say Turner didn’t consider herself an early feminist, but had campaigned for the intellectual capacity of women since she was a teenager.

Editing and writing of Parthenon Writing in the Sydney Girls’ High School magazine with her sister Lillian, the sisters wrote: , and enjoy them and appreciate them in the same way men do. “

Library collections reveal that Turner’s five-year secret engagement to Kalewith was a frenzy.

On February 14, 1891, the young writer wrote: I don’t like him like an atom.

Shortly after they got engaged in secret. Curlewis gave Turner a modest gold bracelet now in the library’s collection to secretly wear in place of the ring.

On May 9th of that year, Turner wrote:

Morley was struck by Curlewis’ passion. “I love you I love you beyond words, my darling, darling baby, I love you, I love you, Herbert,” he told Turner wrote.

Morley said she was amazed at how good Turner was in every aspect of her life. As a working mother myself, I have no idea how she made it all fit.”

Booklist is a weekly newsletter for book lovers from book editor Jason Steger. Delivered every Friday.

https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/when-beloved-author-ethel-turner-had-to-choose-between-fame-and-love-20230302-p5cosq.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw When beloved author Ethel Turner had to choose between fame and love

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