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Sara Douglass Sara Douglass i(A22300 works by) (birth name: Sara Mary Warneke)
Born: Established: 2 Jul 1957 Penola, Penola area, South East South Australia, South Australia, ; Died: Ceased: 27 Sep 2011 Hobart, Southeast Tasmania, Tasmania,
Gender: Female
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Sara Douglass was born on a small farm twenty-five miles from Penola, South Australia. The farm had no electricity, and she remembers reading by the gentle light of a kerosene lamp. Douglass's mother died when she was young and, when Douglass was about seven, the family moved to Adelaide where Douglass attended Methodist Ladies' College (now Annesley College).

Douglass started writing around the age of ten; her first novelette being about the discovery of the eighth sea of the world. When she was about fourteen she won a national essay competition.

Douglass trained as a nurse, graduating in 1978, but four years later she began an Arts degree at the University of Adelaide, going on to gain a Doctorate in History in 1991. During this time she resumed her writing, which she had dropped for about six years, and produced her first novel, 'The Judgement of Jerusalem', which was rejected by the publishers. Discouraged, she gave up writing again.

In 1992, Douglass was appointed Senior Lecturer in Medieval European History at LaTrobe University, Bendigo Campus, and took up writing once more, as a way to relax and escape the pressures of academia. She wrote eight or nine novels, none of which were published, and then began her Axis Trilogy. Having written almost all of it, she sent the first volume, BattleAxe, to an agent.

Douglas went on to become one of Australia's leading fantasy writers, and her Axis Trilogy won the 1997 Aurealis Award: Best Fantasy Novel. She also published some non-fiction works including Images of Educational Travellers in Early Modern England (1995) (as Sara Warneke) and Betrayal of Arthur (1999).

In 1999 Douglass resigned from the university to concentrate on her garden and her writing. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. A little over a year before her death, Douglass wrote about 'The Silence of the Dying' on her blog, Notes from Nonsuch. Her revelations in this column were still drawing responses on the day of her death.

Most Referenced Works


  • See also Douglass's blog, Notes from Nonsuch: (As of 28/09/2016, run as an in memoriam site under the guardianship of Karen Brooks.)

Affiliation Notes

  • Born in SA but moved elsewhere

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Devil's Diadem Pymble : Voyager , 2011 Z1775590 2011 single work novel fantasy historical fiction

'A foolish monk stole the Devil′s favourite diadem, and the Devil wants it back.

'It is mid-twelfth century Europe and Evelyn Langtofte joins an aristocratic household to attend Adelie, the wife of the Earl of Pengraic, a powerful Lord of the Marches – the dark Welsh borderlands. Then a plague that has swept Europe overtakes England and as life descends into chaos and civil disorder, Evelyn is about to discover that the horrors she survived at Pengraic Castle were but a prelude to the terrifying maelstrom which now envelops her and all of her countryfolk.

'Hell has come to desecrate England, and the only thing that can possibly foil its plans are the wits of one lonely, isolated, terrified woman.' (From the publisher's website.)

2012 co-winner Norma K. Hemming Award Co-winner with A. A. Bell for Hindsight.
This Way to the Exit 2008 single work short story fantasy
— Appears in: Dreaming Again 2008; (p. 149-168) The Hall of Lost Footsteps 2011; (p. 77-96)
2008 nominated Australian Shadows Award
y separately published work icon The Twisted Citadel Pymble : Voyager , 2008 Z1488296 2008 single work novel fantasy 'The land of Ashdod has a mysterious past, and a mysterious structure in the heart of the land ... Darkglass Mountain, an ancient pyramid. The Icarii Talon, StarDrifter SunSoar, wonders if Darkglass Mountain could be a StarGate, a source of Icarii power. Meanwhile, his son, Axis, is helping to lead the military might of Isembaard while its tyrant, Isaiah, is on his own lonely journey. Maximilian the king of Escator, and his estranged wife, Ishbel, ride alongside Axis ... both of them obsessed with the impregnable citadel of Serpent's Nest. Also riding with Axis are the Lealfast, a peculiar race of Icarii from the frozen north. They are related in some way to the Skraelings, those terrifying creatures who can very, very quickly overrun a land and its people. But to whom do these Lealfast give their loyalty ...' (Publisher's blurb)
2008 longlisted The Gemmell Awards Legend Award

Known archival holdings

Adelaide University Barr Smith Library (SA)
Last amended 26 Sep 2017 13:38:59
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