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Ethel Anderson (née Campbell) (16 March 1883 – 4 August 1958) was an early twentieth century Australian poet, essayist, novelist and painter. She considered herself to be mainly a poet, but is now best appreciated for her witty and ironic stories.[1] Anderson has been described as "a high-profile author, artist, art commentator and emissary for modernism".[2]


Ethel Anderson was born in Leamington, in Warwickshire, England of Australian parents.[3] Her family soon moved back to Australia and she grew up in Sydney and at Rangamatty, near Picton, New South Wales. She was educated at the Church of England Girls' Grammar School in Sydney.[4] In 1904 she married Brigadier-General Austin Anderson in Bombay where she had accompanied him on his posting. In 1907 they had a daughter.

At the beginning of World War I her husband was posted to France and Anderson moved to Cambridge, England, where she studied drawing at Downing College and exhibited some of her work. They later lived in Worcestershire, and on her husband's retirement from the army in 1924 the family moved to Turramurra, New South Wales, and Brigadier Anderson became secretary to several State Governors.

In Turramurra, Ethel Anderson founded the Turramurra Wall Painters Union in 1927 and associated with contemporary artists such as Roy de Maistre and Grace Cossington Smith. An exhibition of Roland Wakelin's work was held at her home. She was asked by the rector of St James' Church, Sydney to help decorate the Children's Chapel and designed a mural scheme for it which was executed by the group in 1929. Anne Speer's UNSW MA Research Thesis, "Ethel Anderson: pioneer supporter of Sydney's Post-Impressionists" (1994) documents her work with this group of artists (see SLNSW MLMSS 5951).

On 16 March 1932, she opened the inaugural exhibition of the Modern Art Centre established by Dorrit Black in Margaret Street, Sydney, to teach and promote the Cubist ideas learned during Black's study trip to France.[2] Anderson also wrote about contemporary artists' work for magazines such as Art in Australia and Home, while her poetry and stories were published in The Spectator, Punch, the Cornhill Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Bulletin. Her poetry was influenced by her knowledge of French literature and Modernist work, with considerable formal and metrical experimentation. Her poem The Song of Hagar was set to music by John Antill.

The death of her husband in 1949 meant that she had to support herself, which she did through her writing, serialising her first novel At Parramatta in The Bulletin. She died on 4 August 1958 in Sydney.[4]



  • Squatter's Luck and Other Poems (1942)
  • Sunday At Yarralumla: A Symphony (1947)
  • The Song of Hagar to the Patriarch Abraham (1957)


  • Adventures In Appleshire (1944)
  • Timeless Garden (1945)
  • Joy of Youth: The Letters of Patrick Hore-Ruthven (1950, ed.)


  • Indian Tales (1948)
  • At Parramatta (1956)
  • The Little Ghosts (1959)
  • The Best of Ethel Anderson (1973, ed. by J.D. Pringle)



  • Adelaide, Debra (1986) Australian Women Writers: A Bibliographic Guide, London, Pandora
  • Speer, Anne (1994) Ethel Anderson: pioneer supporter of Sydney's Post-Impressionists.


  1. ^ Adelaide (1986) p. 3
  2. ^ a b Harding, Lesley; Cramer, Sue (2010). Cubism & Australian Art. Carlton, Victoria: The Miegunyah Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-522-85673-6. 
  3. ^ Rutledge, Martha (2000). "Anderson, Ethel Campbell Louise (1883 - 1958)". Melbourne University Press. Retrieved 2007-02-10. 
  4. ^ a b Australian Verse: An Illustrated Treasury, edited by Beatrice Davis, State Library of New South Wales Press, 1996

External links[edit]

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Taking A Chance On Love - Ethel Waters

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Cabin in the Sky (1943) Official Trailer - Ethel Waters, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson Movie HD

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Ethel Davis Moore - Class of 1969 - L. C. Anderson High Yellow Jackets - Austin, TX

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123 news items

Sumter Item
Tue, 11 Nov 2014 03:03:45 -0800

She was preceded in death by a son, Daniel Ray Thrasher; a grandson, Michael A. (Mat) Thrasher II; two brothers, Dan Turbeville Jr. and Clem Turbeville; and three sisters, Ethel Anderson, Nell Turbeville and Joanna Keels. Funeral services will be held ...

ABC Action News

Daily Mail
Mon, 09 Dec 2013 14:40:12 -0800

A female teacher found guilty of having sex with a 12-year-old student has been sentenced to 38 years in prison today. Married mother Ethel Anderson, 31, was told she was a 'parents' worst nightmare,' on Monday as she was jailed in Tampa, Florida.

Sioux City Journal

Sioux City Journal
Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:26:15 -0700

SIOUX CITY | Earl John Michener, 95, of Sioux City passed away on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, at a local care facility. Memorial services will be 7 p.m. Friday at Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel. Chaplain Mark Westrich will officiate. Burial will be in ...

Daily Mail

Huffington Post
Wed, 18 Sep 2013 06:42:27 -0700

Ethel Anderson faces nine felony counts over an alleged relationship with a 12-year-old student. A former teacher of the year who was accused of having sex with a 12-year-old boy told a Florida court that she sent him pornographic texts messages as ...
Mearns Leader
Wed, 29 Oct 2014 01:03:45 -0700

Ethel Anderson, 3. Wilma Duguid. Stitched article incorporating a poppy - 1. Beatrice Hay, 2. Jane Sanders, 3. Marion Leiper. Next Meeting Monday November 10 – Midwifery in Nepal. Please bring a hand knitted breast (pattern supplied) which will be used ...
WTSP 10 News
Thu, 01 Mar 2012 06:57:35 -0800

Hillsborough deputies arrested the 5th grade Language Arts teacher, Ethel Anderson, 29, at her home in Riverview Wednesday night, accusing her of having oral sex and inappropriately touching a 12-year-old boy while at her home. The boy was not one of ...
Daily Mail
Thu, 05 Apr 2012 12:20:48 -0700

Mango Elementary school teacher Ethel Anderson, from Florida, was scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday in Hillsborough Circuit Court, but she waived her appearance and entered a not guilty plea in writing. Court records show that during a February ...


Thu, 16 Oct 2014 08:51:46 -0700

Compared to another Hillsborough school teacher, Ethel Anderson, who was sentenced to 38 years in prison for performing oral sex on a 12-year-old boy, Lafave's sentence was lenient. But she and her then-attorney, John Fitzgibbons, were not content to ...

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