Dorothea Mackellar

Dorothea Mackellar

About Dorothea Mackellar

Dorothea Mackellar (1885-1968) was an Australian poet and writer. She began to write as a teenager and wrote the first version of her most famous poem 'My Country' in 1904, feeling nostalgic for her country while she was ill in London. This poem is considered one of Australia's most famous poems. Rejecting the notion of Anglophilia, she expresses her nostalgia for her native land, while living in London. This text is published for the first time in the London magazine The Spectator, under the title of Core of my Heart. Integrated in her first collection The Closed Door (1911), (with a slight modification to the third line of the last stanza), this work was finally republished in 1914, in The Witch Maid, in its original version and under the title of My Country.
Independent in fortune and spirit, Dorothea Mackellar published poetry and other writings from 1908 until her father's death in 1926. In addition to The Closed Door (1911), the volumes The Witch Maid, and Other Verses (1914), Dreamharbour (1923) and Fancy Dress (1926) were published, containing her collected poems. She also published novels, first as sole author Outlaw's Luck (1913) and then in collaboration with Ruth Bedford The Little Blue Devil (1912) and Two's Company (1914). Thereafter, although she was an active woman and involved in several literary societies, she ceased to publish any text. However, A 206-page collection of her diaries was edited by Jyoti Brunsdon and published in 1990 by Angus & Robertson. In the British world of the time, her poems were considered the archetype of Australian bush poetry, evoking the great Australian plains that she had known during her stays on the family lands, near Gunnedah, in the North West of New South Wales. Mackellar's poetry is generally considered to be rural in nature, inspired by her personal experiences.
In 1968, during the New Year's Honors, Dorothea Mackellar received the distinction of Officer of the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to Australian literature. She died two weeks later, in Paddington, New South Wales. She is buried with her father and family in Waverley Cemetery overlooking the sea. Her favorite poem, Colour, was read during the funeral.

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