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y separately published work icon Seven Little Australians single work   children's fiction   children's  
Is part of Seven Little Australians Series Ethel Turner , 1894 series - author (number 1 in series)
Issue Details: First known date: 1894... 1894 Seven Little Australians
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Without doubt Judy was the worst of the seven, probably because she was the cleverest.'

'Her father, Captain Woolcot, found his vivacious, cheeky daughter impossible – but seven children were really too much for him and most of the time they ran wild at their rambling riverside home, Misrule.

'Step inside and meet them all – dreamy Meg, and Pip, daring Judy, naughty Bunty, Nell, Baby and the youngest, 'the General'. Come and share in their lives, their laughter and their tears.' (From the publisher's website.)

Exhibitions

6607625
8017961
8014658

Adaptations

Seven Little Australians Beaumont Smith , 1914 single work drama children's

Largely adapted from Ethel Turner's Seven Little Australians, with some incidents from Miss Bobbie also incorporated into the narrative.

The critical reception to the play was almost unanimously positive, with most critics agreeing that writer/director/producer Beaumont Smith had captured the spirit of the original stories and had succeeded in staging it for the benefit of the children present. Well before the 1914 Palace Theatre premiere Smith indicated his intention, saying that Seven Little Australians had been on his mind as a theatrical production for several years and that he 'always felt that children should have plays written for them for daytime performances.' He went on to further note that he believed that they should also be written in a childish spirit, with the point of view always being from that of a child' (Adelaide Mail 2 May 1914, p. 13).

form y separately published work icon Seven Little Australians Patrick V. Ryan , ( dir. Arthur Greville Collins ) Australia : O. B. Pictures , 1939 Z972382 1939 single work film/TV

A feature film based on Ethel Turner's novel of the same name, Seven Little Australians celebrates the energetic, free-wheeling spirit of Australian youth. The storyline follows the escapades of the seven Woolcot children as they struggle to win the affections of their strict father while simultaneously attempting to exert their own independent identities.

In this 1939 cinematic adaptation, Captain Woolcot is portrayed as a harsher, less loving character rather than a father whose love for his family is being suppressed by his belief in discipline.

form y separately published work icon Seven Little Australians Pamela Brown , United Kingdom (UK) : British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) , 1953 Z1360640 1953 series - publisher film/TV children's

A five-part television series based on Ethel Turner's novel of the same name, this BBC version of Seven Little Australians was produced primarily for children. The storylines follow the escapades of the seven Woolcot children as they struggle to win the affections of their strict father.

y separately published work icon Seven Little Australians Barbara Jefferis , Australia : Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1953 9378157 1953 series - publisher radio play children's

A radio adaptation of Ethel Turner's novel.

form y separately published work icon Seven Little Australians Eleanor Witcombe , ABC Television (publisher), ( dir. Ron Way ) Sydney : ABC Television , 1973 Z972389 1973 series - publisher film/TV children's young adult historical fiction

A ten-part television mini-series adapted from the 1894 novel Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner (q.v.). Set in Sydney in the 1890s, the stories concern Captain Woolcot, an English widower with seven children, who has recently married again. The family lives in their large home 'Misrule,' which lies along the banks of the Parramatta River. As an officer in the New South Wales Regiment, Woolcot attempts to implement regimental discipline but is constantly harassed and embarrassed by the antics of his seven mischievous children: Meg, Pip, Judy, Nell, Bunty, Baby, and 'The General.' Since he is unable to control them, it is his new wife who invariably takes on all the trials of bringing up the children, with the most difficult child being the ring-leader Helen, commonly known as Judy.

Seven Little Australians Peter Yeldham , John Palmer , Jim Graham , David Reeves (composer), 1988 single work musical theatre

Based on the famous Ethel Turner stories and made possible by a Bicentenary gift from James Hardie Industries, this musical version of Seven Little Australians concerns gruff widower and army officer Captain Woolcot, his six tear-away children, his demure new wife (who is not much older than his oldest daughter), and their baby son.

Seven Little Australians Julia Britton , 2005 single work drama
Seven Little Australians Anne Scott-Pendlebury , 2009 single work drama

'Not one of these seven little Australians are really good, because Australian children never are!

The adventures of the seven mischievous Woolcot children, their stern father Captain Woolcot, and young stepmother, Esther, in early Australia' (Villanova Players website).

Reading Australia

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable For

AC: Years 5 and 6 (NSW Stage 3).

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding, Literacy, Personal and social

Notes

  • There have been numerous editions published. Up until 1983,Ward, Lock and Bowden (later Ward, Lock and Company) had republished the book more than fifty times. Ross Burnet A Turner Bibliography (1999, 2003) provides a comprehensive identification and description of the reprints and subsequent editions by other publishers.
  • 'The first edition of 1894 contained a four-page episode [in Chapter 18] in which ... Mr Gillet related an Aboriginal legend. For some reason this episode was omitted soon after the fifth edition (1896) and has not been reprinted since - until now.'(Walter McVitty, 1994)
  • Dedication: To my mother.
  • Other formats: Also braille, sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Melbourne, Victoria,: Ward, Lock and Bowden ,
      1894 .
      image of person or book cover 1370661672398333519.jpg
      Extent: 240 p., [3] leaves of platesp.
      Description: illus.
      Written as: Ethel S. Turner
      Reprinted: 1894 , 1895 , 1896 Twice
      Note/s:
      • Publisher's advertisements at back, 1-16pp.
      • Reprints referred to as 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th eds., but all details seem from library catalogues to be the same as the 1st edition. A 6th edition is listed for 1896: presumably this is the date from which the episode in Chapter 18 is omitted. Four libraries have [1897]ed.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Ward, Lock ,
      1896 .
      Extent: 240 p., [3] leaves of platesp.
      Edition info: 6th ed.
      Description: illus.
      Written as: Ethel Turner (Title page)
    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      David McKay ,
      1904 .
      Extent: vii, 243 p.p.
      Description: illus.
Alternative title: Zeven Kleine Australiers
Language: Dutch

Works about this Work

Centuries of the Narratological Construction of Gender : Seven Little Australians and The Graveyard Book Jane Worme , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature , vol. 21 no. 1 2018; (p. 15-20)

'Turner’s Seven Little Australians (Turner, 1894) was written more than one hundred years prior to Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (Gaiman, 2008) and their settings are separated by more than 15000km. Despite these vast disparities in time and location, they share a surprising level of commonality founded in gender-based power constructs generated through their narration. As popular children’s novels, each narrative has played a role in perpetuating the patriarchal norms including the silencing of strong women and the forgiveness of flawed men. The impact of these literary voices in the shaping of children’s understanding of gender norms cannot be understated. In 2018, a decade on from the release of The Graveyard Book (Gaiman, 2008) and 124 years since the publication of Seven Little Australians (Turner, 1894) children’s literature still places the narratological power firmly in the hands of the male protagonists. CYoung readers are well overdue for a shift in narratological power.'

Source: Author's abstract.

y separately published work icon From Colonial to Modern: Transnational Girlhood in Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand Children's Literature, 1840-1940 Michelle J. Smith , Kristine Moruzi , Clare Bradford , Toronto : University of Toronto Press , 2018 15039944 2018 multi chapter work criticism

'Through a comparison of Canadian, Australian, and New Zealand texts published between 1840 and 1940, From Colonial to Modern develops a new history of colonial girlhoods revealing how girlhood in each of these emerging nations reflects a unique political, social, and cultural context.

'Print culture was central to the definition, and redefinition, of colonial girlhood during this period of rapid change. Models of girlhood are shared between settler colonies and contain many similar attitudes towards family, the natural world, education, employment, modernity, and race, yet, as the authors argue, these texts also reveal different attitudes that emerged out of distinct colonial experiences. Unlike the imperial model representing the British ideal, the transnational girl is an adaptation of British imperial femininity and holds, for example, a unique perception of Indigenous culture and imperialism. Drawing on fiction, girls’ magazines, and school magazine, the authors shine a light on neglected corners of the literary histories of these three nations and strengthen our knowledge of femininity in white settler colonies.'  (Publication summary)

26 Aussie Books You Must Read Blanche Clark , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 24 January 2015; (p. 18-19)
'With Australia Day upons us...26 great Australian Books that have helped shape and define our nation...'
Collecting Ethel Turner Halycon Evans , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: Lu Rees Archives Notes, Books and Authors , no. 35 2013; (p. 10)
Tear-Stained Pages 2013 single work review
— Appears in: Good Reading , August 2013; (p. 26-29)

— Review of Seven Little Australians Ethel Turner , 1894 single work children's fiction ; The Book Thief Markus Zusak , 2005 single work novel
Untitled Millicent Jones , 1992 single work review
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , vol. 36 no. 1 1992; (p. 31-32)

— Review of Seven Little Australians Ethel Turner , 1894 single work children's fiction ; Dot and the Kangaroo Ethel Pedley , 1899 single work children's fiction
Untitled Howard George , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , November vol. 38 no. 4 1994; (p. 34)

— Review of Seven Little Australians Ethel Turner , 1894 single work children's fiction
Two Sides of the Story : For Jen Rosenberg , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 May 2005; (p. 22)

— Review of Seven Little Australians Ethel Turner , 1894 single work children's fiction
Two Sides of the Story : Against Harriet Veitch , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 May 2005; (p. 22)

— Review of Seven Little Australians Ethel Turner , 1894 single work children's fiction
Untitled Alison M. Tunney , 1994 single work review
— Appears in: Fiction Focus : New Titles for Teenagers , vol. 8 no. 2 1994; (p. 46)

— Review of Seven Little Australians Ethel Turner , 1894 single work children's fiction
Ethel Turner's Seven Little Australians Walter McVitty , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , November vol. 38 no. 4 1994; (p. 6-8)
How a Little Australian May Have Fallen Foul of the Censor Angela Bennie , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7 July 2003; (p. 6)
Provides some background to the excision of an Aboriginal story that appeared in the orginal 1894 publication of Seven Little Australians, but was removed from all other publications until the 1994 centenary edition.
Radio Influences Children's Reading Eve Pownall , 1946 single work column
— Appears in: The Australasian Book News and Library Journal , September vol. 1 no. 3 1946; (p. 102)
Pownall outlines the collaboration between the New South Wales Department of Education and the Schools Broadcast Division of the ABC to broadcast books to children.
When Death Becomes Her Jane Sullivan , 2006 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 16 July 2006; (p. 30)
Jane Sullivan suggests to the British author J. K. Rowling that if is she 'is casting around for some inspiring examples of dying characters in children's literature ...' then she should look no further than Judy in Ethel Turner's Seven Little Australians (1894).
Twelve Australian Books That Should Be in Every Home Charles R. Long , 1938 single work criticism
— Appears in: All About Books , 15 January vol. 10 no. 1 1938; (p. 9)
The books on Long's list are 'selected mainly with an eye to their educational value'.
Last amended 22 May 2017 13:45:04
Settings:
  • Parramatta River, Parramatta area, Sydney, New South Wales,
  • 1890s
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