About Mary Grant Bruce
After leaving school, in 1898 Mary became a journalist and wrote as “Cinderella” for The Leader, a weekend newspaper which was published to complement the weekday paper The Age in Melbourne. Soon her talents were recognised there and she produced many excellent short stories. It was here that she wrote the serialised story of A Little Bush Maid, which told the tale of Norah Linton — a young, motherless child growing up with her father and brother on “Billabong”, an Australian cattle station. In 1910, this story was published in book form, winning the hearts of young people all over Australia, and throughout much of the British Empire as well. It remains her best-selling work.
From 1910 through to 1942 she wrote a total of 38 children’s novels, including the 15 Billabong books, which followed the fortunes of the Linton family, and their friends through war, drought and adventure upon adventure. The Billabong series had an enormous impact on how early and mid–20th century Australians perceived their relationship with “The Bush” as rural Australia was, and is still, called.