MELINDA spent her entire life in Australia. What formed this woman as poet and woman ? As mother of a poet ? What factors impinged upon her formation?
This is not a woman from a privileged or educated background. It is the daughter of a convicted army deserter. A girl employed as servant to a Protestant Reverend. A girl taken by her Irish Catholic father to be baptised Roman Catholic whilst still in service according to the censuses taken at the time.
This is not a woman with experience of any land other than the colony of NSW. She lived on its fringes in the wilds and the remote places. South in the Illawarra and North on the Clarence. Her marriage to a man from a seemingly more reputable family of missionaries and landowners ended with his early death following a two year sentence to hard labour for a criminal act.
In 1868- once again in Sydney which weaves a thread throughout her life – she is found to be intestate and living in quarters in Woolloomoolloo
The poems re-located to date are published on the Illawarra in 1884. What do they tell us about her ? And what does her life tell us about the poems?
THE MOTHER ALWAYS PRECEDES THE SON.
ARE THERE ANY OTHER WOMEN POETS OF AUSTRALIA BORN IN COLONY AND SPANNING THE 19th CENTURY ?
Huxley, Henrietta Anne Oceania. Born: 1825, Died: 1914, 2 poems.
Wife of Thomas Henry Huxley
THIS IS THE NEAREST I HAVE YET FOUND