AustLit logo
NLA image of person
Elizabeth Salter Elizabeth Salter i(A23725 works by) (a.k.a. Elizabeth Fulton Salter)
Born: Established: 2 Oct 1918 Angaston, Barossa Valley, Lower North South Australia, South Australia, ; Died: Ceased: 14 Mar 1981 London,
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,

Gender: Female
Expatriate assertion Departed from Australia: 1952
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.


Elizabeth Salter was born into a Barossa Valley pioneering family which opened one of South Australia's first wineries. She was educated at Miss Tucker's School for Girls at Angaston, the Wilderness School, the University of Adelaide (Arts) and the Elder Conservatorium. Salter wrote her first poem at the age of eleven, and had her first poem published at the age of seventeen. She joined the ABC as a record librarian and script writer. During World War II she was WAAF officer in charge of entertainment.

Salter left Australia in 1952 for England where she worked for the BBC and wrote professionally. She teamed up with Australian Composer Malcolm Williamson and subsequently with New Zealand composer Edwin Carr to write a musical, 'Girl from Down Under', but it was never performed. She became secretary to Dame Edith Sitwell (q.v.) in 1957 and continued in this position until Sitwell's death in 1964. Salter published her memoir of Edith Sitwell, Last Years of a Rebel, in 1967. Salter co-edited (with Allanah Harper) Edith Sitwell, Fire of the Mind: An Anthology (1976). She lectured on Sitwell and on Patrick White (q.v.) in England and Scotland, and travelled annually to Toronto to conduct writers' workshops.

Salter was awarded a Commonwealth Literary Grant to write the biography of Daisy Bates (q.v.), and she also wrote a biography of Sir Robert Helpmann (q.v.). She wrote a number of detective novels, some of which were set in Australia and New Zealand. Salter's books have been translated into other languages including Danish, Swedish and German. She was a member of International PEN and the Crime Writers' Association.

Salter died of cancer at the age of 62, after being ill for two years. Her manuscripts are held by the National Library of Australia.

Most Referenced Works


  • Another work, listed in William H. Wilde et al The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature 2nd ed. (1994), Tails She Dies (1977) was not published.

Affiliation Notes

  • Born in SA but moved elsewhere

Known archival holdings

National Library of Australia (ACT)
Last amended 22 Oct 2009 15:54:30
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: