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Mavis Thorpe Clark Mavis Thorpe Clark i(A16927 works by) (a.k.a. M. Thorpe Clark; M. T. Clark; Mavis Rose Latham; M. R. Clark; M. Thorpe Clarke)
Also writes as: M. R. Clark ; Mavis Latham ; Thorpe Clarke
Born: Established: 26 Jun 1909 Melbourne, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 8 Jul 1999 Melbourne, Victoria,
Gender: Female
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Mavis Thorpe Clark was born in Melbourne and educated at the Methodist Ladies College. Her writing career began at the age of fourteen, when the Australasian published, as a children's serial, her work The Red School. Her first published book, written when she was 18 and sold to Whitcombe and Tombs in 1930 for the then considerable sum of £30, was Hatherley's First Fifteen, a boy's adventure story about Rugby football.

Following this first publication, Clark wrote more newspaper serials, short stories and radio scripts, and saw several novels published as books in the early 1950s. She began writing for children in the late 1950s, attracting wide admiration for The Brown Land Was Green (1956). She was nominated for more awards during the 1960s and won the Book of the Year Award of the Children's Book Council of Australia for The Min Min (1966).

Clark published more than two dozen books for children, several novels for adults and a history of the War Widows' Guild of Australia. Clark also wrote non-fiction series for children including Life in Australia Series and Early Australians Series (London, 1930). She used the pseudonym 'Thorpe Clark' for submissions to Cole's anthologies.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

1996 Order of Australia Member of the Order of Australia (AM) For service to the arts as the author of children's literature and as an active member of writers' organisations in Australia.

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Blue Above the Trees Melbourne : Lansdowne , 1967 Z160024 1967 single work novel young adult

'Planning to stay for ten years before returning to Devon, William Whitburn brings his wife and six children from England to the virgin forests of South Gippsland. In 1877 the family make their way on foot along a muddy track through the dense and towering forest to their new home, a wooden hut with an earthen floor in a small clearing. With only axes and saws, William Whitburn and his older sons cut down the huge trees of the ancient forest to clear the land for cattle and sheep. But 13-year-old Simon is fascinated by the forest and its creatures, particularly a pair of lyrebirds and their chicks.'

Source: Mavis Thorpe Clark fansite ( (Sighted: 28/5/2014)

1968 commended CBCA Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year Award
y separately published work icon The Min-Min Melbourne : Lansdowne , 1966 Z949462 1966 single work novel young adult

'Across nearly two thousand miles of flat, sandy desert country runs a railway line, linking east and west Australia. Scattered along it are small groups of houses. Here the fettlers live, isolated from towns and other people, maintaining the line in the blazing heat.

At night, out of the blackness the min-min appears, an elusive and mystic light dancing on the horizon, beckoning and retreating. Aborigines tell of the wonder and excitement this small swaying light arouses. To Sylvie, a young girl living with her family at the siding, the gleam in the dark is symbolic of her life and future.

Her brother Reg, a "young rough", is frightened to stay at the siding after some of the mischief he causes. So he and Sylvie set off across the endless desert, carrying insufficient water and some bread and jam, walking under the scorching sun, in dust and wind, and facing icy nights.'

Source: 1966 publisher's blurb.

1967 winner CBCA Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year Award
1969 winner Notable Book Award (USA)
y separately published work icon The Brown Land Was Green Melbourne : Heinemann , 1956 Z793593 1956 single work children's fiction children's

'An Australian pioneering story set in the lush, newly settled Western District of the Colony of Victoria. The year is 1844: the Webster family - John Webster, carpenter; Belinda, his prim, lady-like sister, and his motherless children, Henrietta, Andrew, William and baby Edward - arrive by bullock cart at the wattle and daub hut in the Vale of the Wannon which is their first home in Australia.

'Twelve-year-old Henrietta, high-spirited and resourceful, and her three brothers soon find themselves in a host of new experiences and adventures, mostly precipitated by the ruthlessness of Benjamin Jones, manager of the sheep station where John Webster has taken up employment. It is Jones' implacable enmity towards the Aborigines that brings Mundowie, the wounded Aboriginal girl, to the shelter of the Websters' home.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (1974 Hodder and Stoughton edition).

1957 highly commended CBCA Book of the Year Awards Book of the Year Award
Last amended 7 May 2017 14:12:18
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