Dictionary of Australian Biography

Last updated

Dictionary of Australian Biography
Author Percival Serle (1871-1951)
CountryAustralia
LanguageEnglish
Subject Biographies of notable Australians who died before 1942
Genre Encyclopedia
Publisher Angus and Robertson
Publication date
1949
920.094

The Dictionary of Australian Biography, published in 1949, is a reference work by Percival Serle containing information on notable people associated with Australian history. With approximately a thousand entries, the book took more than twenty years to complete. Published by Angus and Robertson, the dictionary was compiled as two volumes, Volume 1: A-K; and Volume 2: L-Z.

Contents

The book contains 1,030 biographies of Australians, or people who were closely connected with Australia, who died before the end of 1942. According to Serle in his preface: [1]

"This date closed the first one hundred and fifty years of Australia's history, for although the first fleet arrived in January 1788, the first emigrant ship, the Bellona, did not come until January 1793. Until then Australia had been merely a dumping ground for convicts, but the arrival of free emigrants foreshadowed the founding of a nation."

Percival Serle, 1949

Format

The average length of the biographies is about 640 words. Serle classified them roughly into the following twelve groups:

GroupNo. of
profiles
No.Name
1Army and navy10
2Artists, including architects, actors and musicians130
3Governors and administrators50
4Lawyers69
5Literary men and women137
6Notorieties17
7Pioneers, explorers, pastoralists, men of business161
8Politicians174
9Scholars, philosophers, clergy76
10Scientists, including physicians, surgeons and engineers140
11Social reformers, philanthropists, educationists53
12Sporting men (cricketers and athletes)13

Of the above profiles, the number of women included was 42 or 4 percent of the biographies. Forty-seven percent of those included in the book were born in England, 27 percent in Australia, 12 percent Scotland, 8 percent Ireland, 1 percent Wales and remaining 5 percent were from the rest of the world which included twelve from the United States, nine from Germany, and six from New Zealand.

Other biographies

Prior to its publication similar Australian reference works included:

Subsequently, other Australian biographical dictionaries have been released including the Australian Dictionary of Biography from 1966 and Who's Who in Australia .

Related Research Articles

Willem Janszoon, sometimes abbreviated to Willem Jansz., was a Dutch navigator and colonial governor. Janszoon served in the Dutch East Indies in the periods 1603–1611 and 1612–1616, including as governor of Fort Henricus on the island of Solor. During his voyage of 1605–1606, he became the first European known to have seen the coast of Australia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Elinor Mordaunt</span> English author and traveller, 1872–1942

Evelyn May Clowes, known by the pseudonym Elinor Mordaunt, was an English author, writer and traveller born in Nottinghamshire, England. Her travels included Mauritius and Australia; she undertook a wide variety of employment.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shaw Neilson</span> Australian poet

John Shaw Neilson was an Australian poet. Slightly built, for most of his life he worked as a labourer, fruit-picking, clearing scrub, navvying and working in quarries, and, after 1928, working as a messenger with the Country Roads Board in Melbourne. Largely untrained and only basically educated, Neilson became known as one of Australia's finest lyric poets, who wrote a great deal about the natural world, and the beauty in it.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ada Cambridge</span> English-born Australian writer (1844–1926)

Ada Cambridge, later known as Ada Cross, was an English-born Australian writer. She wrote more than 25 works of fiction, three volumes of poetry and two autobiographical works. Many of her novels were serialised in Australian newspapers but never published in book form. While she was known to friends and family by her married name, Ada Cross, her newspaper readers knew her as A.C. She later reverted to her maiden name, Ada Cambridge, and that is how she is known today.

<i>Australian Dictionary of Biography</i> Australian biographical dictionary

The Australian Dictionary of Biography is a national co-operative enterprise founded and maintained by the Australian National University (ANU) to produce authoritative biographical articles on eminent people in Australia's history. Initially published in a series of twelve hard-copy volumes between 1966 and 2005, the dictionary has been published online since 2006 by the National Centre of Biography at ANU, which has also published Obituaries Australia (OA) since 2010.

Anne Wilson, Lady Wilson was an Australian poet and novelist. Most of her work was published as Mrs James Glenny Wilson or the pseudonym Austral.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Helen de Guerry Simpson</span> Australian novelist and British Liberal Party politician

Helen de Guerry Simpson was an Australian novelist and British Liberal Party politician.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duncan Gillies</span> Australian politician

Duncan Gillies, was an Australian colonial politician who served as the 14th Premier of Victoria.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Livingston Hopkins</span> American cartoonist

Livingston York Yourtee "Hop" Hopkins was an American-born cartoonist who became a major figure in Australian cartooning during the period surrounding the Federation of Australia. He is best known for his work with The Bulletin. He is also notable for drawing one of the earliest newspaper comic strips, Professor Tigwissel's Burglar Alarm.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Barbara Baynton</span> Australian writer

Barbara Janet Baynton was an Australian writer known primarily for her short stories about life in the bush. She published the collection Bush Studies (1902) and the novel Human Toll (1907), as well as writing for The Bulletin and The Sydney Morning Herald. She was a shrewd manager of her second husband's estate, owning properties in Melbourne and London. She acquired the title Lady Headley from her third marriage to Rowland Allanson-Winn, 5th Baron Headley, but never wrote under that name.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Percival Serle</span> Australian writer (1871–1951)

Percival Serle was an Australian biographer and bibliographer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mary Gaunt</span> Australian writer

Mary Eliza Bakewell Gaunt was an Australian novelist and writer. born in Chiltern, Victoria. She also wrote collections of short stories, novellas, autobiographies, and non-fiction. She published her first novel Dave's Sweetheart in 1894. Gaunt visited many countries in her life and she wrote about her experiences in five travel books.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Robertson (publisher)</span>

George Robertson was an English-born Australian bookseller and publisher, who alongside partner and Scotsman David Angus co-founded the publishing division of Angus & Robertson.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fred Johns</span>

Frederick Johns was an American-born Australian journalist and biographer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Charles Nuttall</span> Australian artist

Charles Nuttall was an Australian artist noted for his illustrations.

Frank Leslie Thomson Wilmot, who published his work under the pseudonym Furnley Maurice, was a noted Australian poet, best known for To God: From the Warring Nations (1917).

Hubert Newman Wigmore Church was an Australian poet.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Macrossan</span> Australian politician

John Murtagh Macrossan was an Australian politician of the late 19th century in the parliament of Queensland.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Geoffrey Serle</span> Australian historian

Alan Geoffrey Serle, known as Geoff, was an Australian historian, who is best known for his books on the colony of Victoria; The Golden Age (1963) and The Rush to be Rich (1971) and his biographies of John Monash, John Curtin and Robin Boyd.

The Dictionary of Australasian Biography, sub-titled "Comprising Notices of Eminent Colonists From the Inauguration of Responsible Government Down to the Present Time." published in 1892, is a reference work by Philip Mennell containing information on notable Australian colonists and New Zealanders of the period 1855 to 1892.

References

  1. Serle, Percival (1949). Dictionary of Australian Biography. Project Gutenberg Australia.