Mary Gilmore photo   Mary Gilmore (1865-1962)

Brief Biography

Mary Jean Cameron (1864-1962) was born at Cotta Walla near Goulburn, New South Wales, and was a school teacher before she joined William Lane's New Australia experiment in Paraguay; in Paraguay she married William Gilmore in 1897. They returned to Australia in 1902 and settled on a farm near Casterton in western Victoria. In 1908 she began to edit the Women's Page of the Sydney Worker, which she continued to do until 1931. In 1912, her husband joined his brother on the land in north Queensland, and she and her son moved back to Sydney.

Her life span of nearly a century joined pioneering Australia to the modern Commonwealth, just as her verse projects some of the basic elements of the Australian ethos into twentieth century literature. In 1937 she was made a Dame of the British Empire for her services to Australian literature.

Mary Gilmore is one of two Australian writers (A.B. Paterson is the other) featured on the 1993 ten-dollar note.


Poetry Collections
Marri'd and Other Verses 1910
The Passionate Heart 1918
The Tilted Cart 1925
The Wild Swan 1930
Under the Wilgas 1932
Battlefields 1939
Fourteen Men 1954

Old Days: Old Ways 1934
More Recollections 1935
Mary Gilmore: A Tribute compiled by Dymphna Cusack, T. Inglis Moore, Barrie Ovenden and Walter Stone, 1965
Letters of Mary Gilmore edited by W.H. Wilde and I. Inglis Moore, 1980

Selected Poetry

I previously listed the text of a number of Mary Gilmore poems on this page but have recently removed them. The copyright holder got a bit "upset" about their presence here.

This page and its contents are copyright 2001-03 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: March 5, 2003.