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E. V. Timms E. V. Timms i(A19375 works by) (birth name: Edward Vivian Timms) (a.k.a. Edward King)
Also writes as: David Roseler
Born: Established: 7 Apr 1895 Charters Towers, Charters Towers area, Far North Queensland, Queensland, ; Died: Ceased: 14 Jun 1960 Budgewoi, Budgewoi Lake - Lake Munmorah area, Central Coast, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
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Born in Queensland, E. V. Timms moved to Western Australia with his family where he was educated at Fremantle Boys School under the future Lieutentant General Thomas Blamey. He completed his education in Sydney and studied electrical engineering before enlisting in the AIF. He was promoted to lieutenant on 15 March 1915 but was wounded during the Gallipoli landing and invalided home. He married in 1916 and took up a soldier-settler block. Farming life was not successful for Timms, and so he moved to Sydney to become a businessman. Encouraged by his wife, he took up writing and published his first short story in Smith's Weekly. Soon after, he completed his first novel, The Blue Pool Mystery (1924), and published a number of books of adventure and humour in the late 1920s. Timms was a very competent writer of popular romance and collaborated with the film producer Charles Chauvel on a number of scripts during the 1930s, including Forty Thousand Horsemen (1940). He also produced many short stories and radioplays and a number of very popular historical romances set in seventeenth century Europe.

Timms re-enlisted for World War II, attaining the rank of major by 1943. He served in Australian Garrison batallions and was a commandant at the Cowra prisoner of war compound during the Japanese breakout in August 1944. His order to fire on the prisoners was closely scrutinised at a military court of inquiry. He gave an account of his decision in 'Bloodbath at Cowra', published in As You Were (1946).

After the war, Timms began writing his Great South Land Saga, completing Forever to Remain in 1948. In the tradition of his seventeenth century historical romances, this series of novels told the story of early Australian settlement up to the mid nineteenth century. Timms had completed ten novels by the late 1950s, but poor health made completing the planned twelve volumes very difficult. He died in June 1960, leaving The Big Country incomplete. His wife, Alma, took on the job of completing the novel. It was published in 1962 and her novel Time and Chance (1971) served to complete the Great South Land Saga. Timms's novels have recently attracted cultural critics exploring the representation of race in Australian fiction, but his reputation as a writer of fiction has not endured. Nevertheless, in 1975 the mass-market publisher Pyramid Books reissued most of the books in Timms's Saga for American readers and a British mini-series, Luke's Kingdom (1976), directed by Peter Weir, was inspired by these books.

Most Referenced Works


  • See also the full Australian Dictionary of Biography Online entry for E. V. Timms.
  • In a 1952 'Radio News' column, George Hart records that Timms had to that date written some 700 radio scripts, part from 19 books and more than 100 short stories (Sun 13 May 1952, p.20).

  • Timms's short stories that have not been sighted and are therefore not individually indexed on AustLit include:

    For Man, the 'Man in the Slouch Hat' series, including:

    • A Lady to See You
    • The Light in Gresham Square
    • With Their Fears
    • The Four Aces
    • Introducing–The White Spider
    • That Lady Makes No Mistakes
    • The Closing Door
    • High Tide
    • Night Train from Central

    as well as a series of short stories not connected to this series, including:

    • The Dark Desert
    • The Rock
    • Dark Is the River
    • The Waterhole
    • The Edge of the Sea
    • The Red Ridge

    For As You Were:

    • Saga of the Showground
    • Escape if You Can
    • One Sunday Morning
    • Do You Remember?
    • The Blood Bath at Cowra

    For Sun:

    • Auf Wiedersehen!
    • Adorable Adelyn Anderson
    • Death in Thirty Seconds

    For as-yet-untraced publications:

    • Rhapsody for Two
    • Some Came Back
    • Jerry
    • Thirty Seconds

    NB: These stories will be added to Timms's record as they are sighted.

  • Timms' manuscripts and other materials are held in the Fryer Library as the twelve-box Edward Vivian Timms Collection (detailed list available here.)

Last amended 23 Nov 2016 10:51:22
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