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Bruce, Minnie (Mary) Grant (1878 - 1958)

Born
24 May 1878
Sale, Victoria, Australia
Died
2 July 1958
Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex, England
Occupation
Author and Journalist

Summary

The author of the Billabong series of books, Mary Grant Bruce began writing poetry and short stories at the age of seven. Later she became editor of her school magazine. After completing her matriculation Bruce moved to Melbourne where she worked as an editor and wrote weekly stories for the Leader children's page. Her first book A Little Bush Maid, originally a serial, was published in 1910. Between 1910 and 1942 she published 37 children's novels. During her career Bruce was a contributor to Blackwood's Magazine, Morning Post, Daily Mail, Windsor Magazine, Cassell's Magazine, Strand, Argus, Age, Herald (Melbourne), Australasian, Leader, Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney Mail, Lone Hand Auckland Weekly Press, Woman's World, West Australian and the British Australasian. During World War II Bruce worked for the AIF Women's Association, sold her autograph at charity auctions for the war effort and broadcast a series of talks for the Department of Information.

Details

Events

April 1895
Won first prize in the Melbourne Shakespeare Society's annual essay competition
December 1895
Passed the matriculation examination with honours in English, history and botany
1898
Her story Her Little Lad was published in the Christmas supplement of the Melbourne Leader under the signature 'M.G.H.'
December 1900
Her story Dono's Christmas' published in supplement of the Melbourne Leader under the pseudonym 'Coolibah'
1910
Little Bush Maid published
1912
Timothy in Bushland published
1912
Mates at Billabong published
1913
Glen Eyre published
1913
Norah of Billabong published
1913 - 1914
Went to London where she wrote articles for the Daily Mail and met her future husband, distant cousin, Major George Evans Bruce
1914
From Billabong to London published
1914
Grays Hollow published
1 July 1914
Returned to Australia and married at Holy Trinity Church, East Melbourne
4 August 1914
After the outbreak of World War I sailed on the troop-ship Nestor to Cork and during the next three years 'produced two babies and four books'
1915
Jim and Wally published
1916
Captain Jim published
1917
Possum published
1917
Dick published
1918
Dick Lester of Kurrajong published
11 November 1918
Following the war, returned to Australia to settle at Traralgon, Gippsland
1919
Back to Billabong published
1920
The Tower Rooms published
1921
The Houses of the Eagle published
1922
Robin published
1922
Stone Axe of Burkamuka published
1922
Cousin from Town published
1923
Twins of Emu Plains published
1923
Hugh Stanford's Luck published
1924
Anderson's Jo published
1924
Billabong's Daughter published
1925
House of the Eagle published
1926
Acting editor of Woman's World for six months
1926
Golden Fiddles published
1926
Tower Rooms published
1927
Moved to Omagh, Ireland
1928
Billabong Adventurers published
1929
The Happy Traveller published
1931
Road to Adventure published
1933
Bill of Billabong published
1934
Seahawk published
1935
Wings Above Billabong published
1936
Circus Ring published
1937
Billabong Gold published
1938
Told by Peter published
1939
Son of Billabong published
1939
Returned to Australia
1940
Peter and Co. published
1941
Karalta published
1942
Billabong Riders published
1948
Following death of her husband (1946) Bruce went back to England

Sources used to compile this entry: Alexander, Joseph A (ed.), Who's Who in Australia 1950, 14th edn, The Herald, Melbourne, 1950, 816 pp; Strahan, Lynne, 'Bruce, Minnie (Mary) Grant (1878-1958)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070459b.htm.

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Archival resources

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Manuscripts 1924-1925, 1924 - 1925, MS 3470; Bruce, Minnie (Mary) Grant (1878 - 1958); National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Page from an autograph book signed by Mary Grant Bruce, 1943, MS 1930; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection

  • Bruce, Mary Grant, 1878-1958 Autobiographical notes, MS 11261; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details
  • Bruce, Mary Grant, 1878-1958 Letters, 7 April 1927 - 10 December 1929, MS 11668; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details
  • Bruce, Mary Grant, 1878-1958 Papers, MS 9975; Bruce, Minnie (Mary) Grant (1878 - 1958); State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details
  • Records of Ward, Lock and Co., 1928 - 1954, BOX 3719/2-3; State Library of Victoria, Australian Manuscripts Collection. Details

Anne Heywood

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