About Mary Grant Bruce
Mary Grant Bruce, one of Australia’s best known authors of children’s literature, was born Minnie Grant Bruce near Sale in Victoria, Australia on 24th May 1878. Her parents were Eyre Lewis Bruce, a surveyor from County Cork in Ireland, and Mary Atkinson Bruce. Her grandfather was the Squatter, William Whittakers, who bought the ‘Snowy River Run’ in 1839 and who later had, successively, ‘Tombong’ Station, ‘Tubbutt’ Station, all in the Snowy River catchment area. Later, he had ‘Fernhill’ Station in Gippsland, Victoria. You can read all about Mary Gant Bruce’s extended family in Australia in The Whittakers Story.
Mary began writing when she was six and, from age 16, she entered and won the annual examinations of the Melbourne Shakespeare Society three times in a row whilst still a schoolgirl.
Much of Mary’s childhood was spent on her Whittakers grandparent’s and uncles’ cattle stations in Victoria. This gave her an abiding love of horses.
Along with her parents, her great-aunt, Miss Martha Moore, who lived with the family, was very important in Mary’s childhood. She is the heroine of one of Mary’s best stories, Port After Stormie Seas which appears in The Whittakers Story. She had earlier founded Australia’s first girls’ school, Moore Hall, in Sydney.