- Seven Little Australians
Infobox Book |
name = Seven Little Australians
image_caption = Cover of the 16th edition: 1912 Publisher Ward Lock & Co Illustrations by J. Macfarlane
language = English
Ward, Lock and Bowden
media_type = Print (Hardback &
pages = 240pp
isbn = ISBN 0-435-12051-4
The Family at Misrule
"Seven Little Australians" (1894) is a classic Australian children's novel by
Ethel Turner. Set mainly in Sydneyin the 1880s, it relates the adventures of the seven mischievous Woolcot children, their stern army father Captain Woolcot and flighty stepmother Esther.
In 1994 the novel was the only book by an Australian author to have been continuously in print for 100 years.
The book's protagonists are the seven Woolcot children, from oldest to youngest:
* Meg (real name Margaret), 16, naive, romantic sixteen-year-old eldest sister and sometime surrogate mother to the younger children.
* Pip (real name Phillip), 14, eldest brother,handsome, intelligent but badly-behaved.
* Judy (real name Helen), 13, imaginative and lively, often leads the others into mischief and Pip's partner in crime.
* Nell (real name Elinor), 10, beautiful and slightly wistful child.
* Bunty (real name John), 6, described as 'fat and very lazy'.
* Baby (real name Winifred), 4, is the most well behaved out of the lot, was only a baby when her mother died.
* 'The General' (real name Francis Rupert) - the baby and the only natural child of Esther, who is stepmother to the other children.
The seven children of the title live in 1880s Sydney with their father, an army Captain who has little understanding of his children, and their twenty year-old stepmother Esther who can exert little discipline on them. Accordingly they wreak havoc wherever possible, for example by interrupting their parents while they entertain guests and asking for some of their dinner (implying to the guests that the children's own dinner is inadequate).
After a prank by Judy and Pip embarrasses Captain Woolcot at his military barracks he orders that Judy, the ringleader, be sent away to boarding school in the Blue Mountains.
Meg comes under the influence of an older girl, Aldith, and tries to improve her appearance according to the fashions of the day. She and Aldith make the acquaintance of two young men, but Meg believes she has fallen in love with the older brother of one, Alan. When Aldith and Meg arrange to meet the young men for a walk, Meg is embarrassed after a note goes astray and Alan comes to the meeting instead and reproaches her for becoming 'spoilt', rather than remaining the sweet young girl she was. Meg returns home and later faints, having tight-laced her waist until it affects her health.
Unhappy away from her siblings, Judy runs away from school and returns home, hiding in a barn. Despite her ill-health as a result of walking for several days to get home, the other children conceal her presence from their father, but he discovers her. He plans to send her back to school however realises that she is suffering from tuberculosis, and she is allowed to remain at home.
In part to assist Judy's recuperation, the children and Esther are invited to visit Esther's parents at their sheep station Yarrahappini. One day the children go on a picnic far away from the property. A ringbarked tree falls and threatens to crush the youngest child, 'the General'. Judy, who promised 'on her life' not to allow him to be harmed on the picnic, rushes to catch him and her body protects him from the tree. However her back is broken and she dies before help can be fetched.
After burying Judy on the property, the family returns home to Sydney sobered by her death. While ostensibly things remain the same, each character is slightly changed by their experience. In particular Captain Woolcot regrets the fact that he never really understood Judy and tries to treasure his remaining children a little more.
Ethel Turner wrote three more books featuring the Woolcot family.
*"The Family at Misrule" tells the story of the family five years on, including new baby girl Esther.
*"Judy and Punch" describes Judy's experiences at boarding school, including meeting a boy named Punch while they are both on the train on the way to school.
*"Little Mother Meg" describes Meg becoming a mother and raising her own children and Peter(the General) and Essie(baby Esther)go on adventure when they explore their nieghbours garden through a whole in the fence.
Film, TV or theatrical adaptations
The first film adaptation of this novel was made in 1939, directed by Arthur Greville Collins. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032713/ Internet Movie DataBase - Seven Little Australians (1939)] ] cite web|url = http://www.nfsa.afc.gov.au/docs/product_7littleaustralians.pdf| title = Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner| format = pdf of booklet (8.93MB)|publisher = Australian
National Film and Sound Archive|accessdate = 2008-06-25] The film was shot in Sydney at the Commonwealth Film Laboratoriesand around Camden, New South Wales.
This was followed in 1953 by a BBC television 6-part mini-series [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0403805/ Internet Movie DataBase - Seven Little Australians (1953)] ] .
The book was made into a 10 episode television series in 1973 [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0140763/ Internet Movie DataBase - Seven Little Australians (1973)] ] [cite web|url = http://www.australiantelevision.net/sevenlittleaus.html| title = Seven Little Australians| publisher = Australian Television Information Archive| date = 2003| accessdate = 2008-06-25] , which was largely faithful to the book. Differences include the fact that in the book, Baby never really spoke, and in the series she had a lot to say. Judy was thin and waiflike in the book, she is more solidly built in the series. Meg's hair was long and dark, but in the book her hair is long and blonde. The series has been released on a 2-disc
region 4dvd set in Australia. Music for the television miniseries was composed by Bruce Smeaton.
The book was adapted as a stage play in 1915. A professional version of a musical adaptation ran in Melbourne and Sydney from 1988. It is now a popular production for local musical societies to perform, as well as High School Stage productions.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Little Manila — (also known as Manilatowns or Filipinotowns) is term that refers to a community with a large Filipino immigrant and descendant population. Philippine Center in New York City Contents 1 … Wikipedia
Indigenous Australians — This article is about the original inhabitants of Australia. For the Australian definition in law, see Australian Aborigines. Australian Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders … Wikipedia
Ethel Turner — (24 January 1872 – 8 April 1958) was an Australian novelist and children s writer. She was born Ethel Mary Burwell in Doncaster in England. Her father died when she was two, leaving her mother Sarah Jane Burwell with two daughters (Ethel and… … Wikipedia
Список австралийских телепрограмм по дате начала показа — Содержание 1 2010 е 1.1 2010 2 2000 е 2.1 2009 … Википедия
Brian Syron — (b. 19 November 1934; d. 14 October 1993) was a human rights advocate, teacher, actor, writer, stage director and Australia s first Indigenous feature film director who has been recognised as the first First Nations feature film director. LifeHe… … Wikipedia
List of children's literature authors — This is a list of notable children s literature authors and their most famous works. For a discussion of the criteria used to define something as a work of children s literature, see children s literature. Contents A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P … Wikipedia
Elizabeth Alexander (actress) — Elizabeth Alexander (sometimes credited as Liz Alexander), is an Australian actress with a number of high profile credits in film, television and theatre. Personal lifeShe was born in Adelaide, South Australia, on 21 August 1958, but now lives in … Wikipedia
Ruth Cracknell — Infobox Actor bgcolour= name =Ruth Cracknell imagesize = caption = birthdate = birth date|1925|7|6|mf=y location = Maitland, New South Wales, Australia deathdate = death date and age|2002|5|13|1925|7|6|mf=y deathplace = Sydney, New South Wales,… … Wikipedia
Turner — /ˈtɜnə/ (say ternuh) noun 1. Ethel Sibyl (born Ethel Sibyl Burwell), 1870–1958, Australian novelist and children s writer, born in England; noted for Seven Little Australians (1894). 2. Sir George, 1851–1916, Australian Liberal Party politician;… … Australian English dictionary
Bruce Smeaton — (born 5 March 1938) is a composer, well known for a variety of Australian film and television scores in all genres features, shorts, television, documentaries and advertisements. He was born in Brighton, Victoria and currently lives in Binalong,… … Wikipedia