Gabrielle Carey on ‘Katherine Mansfield’s Cousin’

Elizabeth von Arnim was born Mary Beauchamp in Kirribilli in 1866. At 24 became a Prussian countess  and moved to Pomerania where she ‘somewhat mutinously’ bore five children while secretly writing under a pen name. Always able to recognise literary talent, von Arnim employed E.M. Forster and Hugo Walpole as tutors for her daughters. On being widowed, she began an affair with H.G. Wells which was followed by a marriage to Bertrand Russell’s brother and then a 12-year romantic liaison with a man 30 years her junior. So how did she find time to write 21 best-selling comic novels, one memoir and a sell-out play?

Gabrielle Carey is writer of non-fiction interested in resurrecting forgotten Australian writers. Her most recent book, Falling Out of Love with Ivan Southall,  was about the hugely popular and internationally awarded children’s writer of the 1960s and 70s. In 2014 her book about Randolph Stow, Moving Among Strangers, won the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Non-FIction. In 2019 she was the H.C. Coombs Creative Arts Fellow. She is currently a Visiting Fellow with the School of History and trying to finish a biography of Elizabeth von Arnim.


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