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Mackellar, Dorothea (1885–1968)

Mackellar, Dorothea (1885–1968)

Australian poet. Born Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar on July 1, 1885, in Sydney, Australia; died Jan 14, 1968, in Paddington, Australia; dau. of Sir Charles Kinnaird Mackellar (physician and parliamentarian) and Marion (Buckland) Mackellar; attended lectures at Sydney University.

Famed creator of "My Country," wrote many poems celebrating Australian countryside; 1st published poem, "Core of My Heart," appeared in London's Spectator (1908); created 1st draft of "My Country" while homesick in England, publishing it in the Spectator and later revising and including it in 1st published collection The Closed Door (1911); fell in love with English poet Patrick Chalmers; returned to Australia and sent letter telling of parents' permission to wed but it was lost in mail (Chalmers married another); continued to write and travel (1920s–30s), publishing work in well-known journals including Harper's Magazine and Sydney Bulletin; with Ruth Bedford, produced 3 novels; poetry collections include The Witchmaid, Dreamharbour and Fancy Dress. Awarded Officer of British Empire (OBE, 1968).

See also I Love a Sunburnt Country: The Diaries of Dorothea Mackellar (1990); Adrienne Howley, My Heart, My Country: The Story of Dorothea Mackellar (U. of Queensland Press, 1990).

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