The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.
Ada A. Holman was the daughter of an English journalist, Ebenezer Kidgell, and his Irish wife Agness Martin. Her father worked for several newspapers and the family probably relocated frequently for the sake of his work. In 1902 Ebenezer Kidgell died, leaving the family in financial difficulties. The Australian Dictionary of Biography states that as a result Holman 'later recalled' many years of 'doing nothing but work'.
She became a journalist in the 1890s, writing a regular letter from Sydney to Melbourne Punch under the pseudonym 'Myee'. She also used her own name, as well as 'Marcus Malcolm' and 'Nardoo' for her contributions to the Sydney Mail.
In 1901, she married William Holman (q.v.), an English lawyer who arrived in Australia and became a Labor MP. He later became Premier of New South Wales, and led the Labor Party from 1913-1916, and the Nationalist Party from 1916-1920.
An active feminist with a keen interest in politics, Ada Holman wrote travel and political pieces, fiction, children's literature and drama. Two of her novels, 'Eve in the Desert' (1934) and 'Good Courage' (1936) were serialised in the Sydney Morning Herald, but not published as novels. She edited the Sydney-based feminist paper The Shadow during the early 1900s.