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Mack, Marie Louise Hamilton (1870–1935) single work   companion entry  
Issue Details: First known date: 2014... 2014 Mack, Marie Louise Hamilton (1870–1935)
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    Louise Mack was a novelist, poet, journalist and war correspondent. At Sydney Girls’ High School, she and her friend (and later novelist) Ethel Turner edited rival school papers. Mack’s Girls High School Gazette cost sixpence and carried advertisements. Determined to be a writer, she submitted poetry to the Sydney Bulletin, where J.F. Archibald encouraged and published her, as did literary editor A.G. Stephens.

    For three years, from 1898 until she left for London in 1901, Mack contributed the Woman’s Letter to the Bulletin under the pen name ‘Gouli Gouli’. The column had been launched with flair in the early 1890s by ‘Sappho Smith’ (Alexina Wildman). Mack’s sister, Amy (1876–1939), was later Women’s Page editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.

    In London, Mack charmed Review of Reviews editor W.T. Stead, and was soon a regular at Stead’s soirees and in the columns of his Review. However, her autobiographical novel, An Australian Girl in London (1902), recounts the plight of a starving writer looking for freelance work. Mack began writing lucrative romantic serials for Alfred Harmsworth’s stable of newspapers, and the handsome, ruthless Harmsworth (Lord Northcliffe) became her hero.

    From 1904 to 1910, Mack lived in Florence, writing for and then editing the Italian Gazette. In the first weeks of World War I, she joined other war correspondents in Belgium and reported first hand on the German invasion for Harmsworth’s Daily Mail and Evening News. She returned to Australia after the publication of her memoir, A Woman’s Experiences in the Great War (1915). She toured the country, speaking about the war and raising funds for the Red Cross.

    After the war, Mack failed to secure permanent work as a journalist and moved around the Pacific, giving travel and educational talks. Returning to Sydney, she contributed to the early Australian Women’s Weekly, including the regular column ‘Louise Mack Advises’. Always a larger-than-life raconteuse, Mack embroidered her life as she did her many works of fiction.

    REF: N. Phelan, The Romantic Lives of Louise Mack (1991).


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