Kate Forsyth & Belinda Murrel - Searching for Charlotte
Time & Location
About The Event
For almost 140 years, the author of Australia's first book for children was a mystery. Known only by the descriptor 'a Lady Long Resident in New South Wales', she was the subject of much speculation. It was not until 1980, after a decade of sleuthing, that legendary bibliographer Marcie Muir gave her a name: Charlotte Waring Atkinson. And not only a name, but an extensive creative family history, connecting her to two of the nation's celebrated contemporary children's writers, Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell. In Searching for Charlotte, Forsyth and Murrell tell Charlotte’s story along with that of their own journey to discover her.
Kate and Belinda appear in-conversation with Patti Miller.
This FREE event takes place on Zoom. The Zoom meeting details form part of your ticket, emailed to you after registration.
Pre-order copies of ISearching for Charlotte and we'll happily ship them anywhere in Australia for free!
About the Book
180 years ago, Australia’s first children’s book was published by an anonymous writer known only as ‘a lady long resident in New South Wales’. The identity of the author was one of Australia’s most puzzling literary mysteries until 1981, when she was finally given a name: Charlotte Waring Atkinson. Today, her great-great-great-great-granddaughters Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell are also celebrated authors. They grew up on stories about Charlotte’s life of love, grief and violence—about her struggle to assert an independent spirit. A bestselling author, she was an early Australian artist and a pioneer in the fight for women’s legal rights, waging a bitter court battle for the right to raise her own children.
In Searching for Charlotte, Kate and Belinda embark on a voyage of discovery that investigates family history, writing, motherhood, what changes and what stays the same. It is a journey that will transform everything they thought they knew about their family. The extraordinary, long-buried life story of Australia’s earliest published children’s author, Searching for Charlotte combines elements of biography, recreation of history and rediscovery of family history. It is a sometimes confronting but ultimately heartwarming journey into the story of a family with writing in its blood.
About the Authors
Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel aged seven & has now sold more than a million books worldwide.
Her most recent book, The Blue Rose is set in Revolutionary France and Imperial China, and was inspired by the true story of the quest for a blood-red rose. Other novels for adults include include Beauty in Thorns, a reimagining of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ set amongst the passions and scandals of the Pre-Raphaelites; Bitter Greens, which won the 2015 American Library Association award for Best Historical Fiction. Kate received the 2019 Nancy Keesing fellowship from the State Library of NSW to assist in the research and creation of Searching for Charlotte
Belinda Murrel is a bestselling, internationally published children’s author with a history of writing in her family that spans over 200 years. Her previous titles include four picture books, her fantasy adventure series The Sun Sword trilogy and her seven time-slip adventures, The Locket of Dreams, The Ruby Talisman, The Ivory Rose, The Forgotten Pearl, The River Charm, The Sequin Star, and The Lost Sapphire. These books have been recognised by various awards, including Honour Book KOALAS 2013, shortlisted nine times for the Young Australians Best Book Award (YABBA), CBCA Notable List 2012 and 2017 and highly commended in the PM’s Literary Awards.
About the Moderator
Patti Miller has taught creative writing, with a particular focus on autobiographical writing, for more than 20 years. Patti's book Writing True Stories was published by Allen & Unwin in 2017. Her memoir Ransacking Paris was published by Penguin Books Australia in 2015. Her novel The Mind of a Thief (2012), was long-listed and short-listed for several awards and won the 2013 NSW Premier’s Prize for History. She is the author of Australia’s bestselling autobiographical writing texts, Writing Your Life and The Memoir Book as well as The Last One Who Remembers (memoir), Child (novel) and Whatever The Gods Do (memoir).
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