AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 7905345364557350905.jpg
Australian Woman's Mirror, 3.45 (1927), p.11
Llywelyn Lucas Llywelyn Lucas i(A1587 works by) (a.k.a. Beryl Llywelyn Lucas; L. L.; L. Lucas)
Also writes as: Llywelyn ; Cloris
Born: Established: 21 Feb 1898 Harkaway, Narre Warren - Berwick area, Melbourne Outer South East, Melbourne, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 1967 Cleveland, Alexandra Hills - Cleveland area, Redland area, Brisbane - South East, Brisbane, Queensland,
Gender: Female
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.


Llywelyn Lucas was born in 'Kalimna' (an Aboriginal word for beauty), the home of her mother's family in Gippsland. Educated at schools in Sydney, Melbourne and London, she then studied at a horticultural school in Burnley (Victoria) and became chief gardener on a large property in Melbourne. After the First World War she went overseas, seeing much of Europe and walking through parts of France and Italy. When she returned to Melbourne she worked in a Melbourne garage before moving to Brisbane to work as assistant to her brother, a veterinary surgeon.

Lucas had also planned to become a freelance journalist in Brisbane and her work became well-known to editors and readers. She collected 'Hilarities', humorous newspaper essays by her friend and mentor Hal Eyre (q.v.) and the selection, Hilarities: The Thirty-Nine Indefinite Articles, was published in 1929. Other work included helping Edith England (q.v.) select poems for Queensland Days (1944). Lucas was known as a playwright too and among her plays produced in Brisbane was 'The Sungod's Secret' (a children's play), staged with a large cast of children. According to England, in the Foreword to Lost Kinship and Other Poems (1968), Lucas won several awards for plays.

Lucas went to live at Flinders, in the Fassifern district, where she became interested in astrology. When the Second World War began, she returned to Brisbane and later lived alone for many years at Victoria Point. James Devaney (q.v.), who corresponded regularly with Lucas, wrote that she was 'one of the good minor poets. I think of her as Queensland's first modern; for from the beginning, even before the new influences came sweeping in, she never used the old conventions and diction...' ('The Individual View: Llywelyn Lucas' Meanjin 28.116, 1969, pp.136-137).

Most Referenced Works


  • Bernice May's article on Llywelyn Lucas in The Australian Woman's Mirror is largely based on the 'comradely correspondence' that Lucas and May maintained for some years. Lucas had orginally wanted to be a doctor, but this was prevented by the outbreak of war, so instead she went into horticulture and was joined in this venture by her mother. After the war Lucas's health broke down and she sought a change of occupation. May quotes from one of her letters that she 'once tried motor-driving at Miss Anderson's girls' garage in Melbourne. One of the girls with me was a daughter of Ada Reeve, the actress, and we had some hair-raising experiences.' Eventually she returned to gardening, before joining her brother in Brisbane.

    Lucas described herself as unconventional, but not Bohemian, and declared 'I hate beer and onions and adore soap and water; I hate sham sophistry and the lipstick and the shingle - but I like cigarettes and Charlie Chaplin and Bernard Shaw. I believe in Light, like Victor Hugo, especially for women, and naturally I think the future of mankind is in women's hands.'

    Lucas published her early verses in The Australasian and was 'found and encouraged' by The Bulletin and received further encouragement from Ella McFadyen of The Sydney Mail and Myra Morris. Her short stories and poetry also appeared in The Australian Woman's Mirror.

    May's article contains a portrait photograph of Llywelyn Lucas.

    Source: May, Bernice, The Australian Woman's Mirror, v. 3, no. 45, p. 11

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Yeast : A Play in One Act Sydney : Llywelyn Lucas , 1930-1939 Z1225618 1930-1939 single work drama

'The story of the play shows how the daughter of a family, who has more imagination and taste than the rest, is thwarted by her drab surroundings. The father at last determines to spend some money in making the place more attractive, but his decision is too late.'

Source: 'Australian Plays,' The Brisbane Courier, 24 May 1930, p.22.

1930 First Community Playhouse Australian One Act Play Competition Award for best stage play

Known archival holdings

State Library of Queensland John Oxley Library (Qld)
University of Queensland University of Queensland Library Fryer Library (QLD)
Last amended 25 Aug 2017 13:03:28
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: