State Library of NSW

Seven little Australians


Ethel Turner’s children’s book, first printed 1894

Six Pickles

Seven little AustraliansIt is rare for the original manuscript of a nineteenth-century Australian novel to survive, especially a novel as significant as Ethel Turner’s children’s story, Seven little Australians. We see the author drafting and redrafting her text until it is in a form suitable to be sent to the publisher. Originally to be called ‘Six Pickles’, one more child was added and it became Seven little Australians.

The manuscript is written on scraps of paper, some being the reverse of pages from the literary magazine, Parthenon, which Ethel Turner founded and edited with her sister, Lilian. Written over ten months, the manuscript was sent by Turner to the Melbourne office of the British firm, Ward, Lock & Bowden, in late 1893. It was accepted within a week. It had a spectacular success when published in 1894 when Turner was only twenty-four years old. It has been in print ever since, longer than any other Australian children’s book, and has sold well over two million copies.
Display item Seven little Australians


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