"To fall asleep and dream deams that change as quickly as the forms in an unsteady kaleidoscope, and to awaken with a bewildered feeling that you are not yourself but having changed places with some other identity, must be a sensation akin to that I experienced when I opened my eyes in the morning after my first sleep on the diggings."

Little is known of Mary Fortune. She kept her identity secret by writing under the names of Waif Wander or W.W.  Arriving in Australia with her young son she supported herself by writing about life on the goldfields and in the cities.  She became Australia's first female writer of crime fiction.

Author

Mary Fortune

Mary Fortune (c. 1833-1910?) migrated from Canada to the Australian goldfields in 1855. She published her first detective stories in the Australian Journal in 1865, using the pseudonyms of 'Waif Wander' and 'W. W.'. In all, she wrote over 500 detective stories over 40 years, most featuring Detective Mark Sinclair. Her one book, The Detective's Album (1871), is the first known collection of detective fiction stories by a woman. She died an alcoholic, the date and place still unknown - somehow fitting for this pioneering woman of mystery.

Country of Origin

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Lucy Sussex

Lucy Sussex was born in New Zealand in 1957. She has degrees in English and Librarianship from Monash University, and is a freelance researcher, editor and writer. She has published widely, writing anything from literary criticism to horror and detective stories. In addition she is a literary archaeologist, rediscovering and republishing the nineteenth-century Australian crime writers Mary Fortune and Ellen Davitt. Her short story, `My Lady Tongue' won a Ditmar (Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award) in 1988. In 1994 she was a judge for the international Tiptree award, which honours speculative fiction exploring notions of gender. Her first adult novel, The Scarlet Rider, is about biography, Victorian detective fiction, voodoo and a ghost.

Country of Origin
Blog 2018 Reading Reminiscences
Karen Chisholm
Monday, January 7, 2019
Review Sherlock Holmes, The Australian Casebook, ed Christopher Sequiera
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Blog #amreading Sherlock Holmes, The Australian Casebook, edited by Christopher Sequeira
Karen Chisholm
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Review Review - Blockbuster! Fergus Hume and The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, Lucy Sussex
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Blog #amreading Blockbuster! Fergus Hume and the Mystery of a Hansom Cab, Lucy Sussex
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Review WOMEN WRITERS AND DETECTIVES IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY CRIME FICTION - Lucy Sussex
Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Review THE FORTUNES OF MARY FORTUNE - Lucy Sussex (ed)
Karen Chisholm
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Blog Currently Reading - The Fortunes of Mary Fortune, Lucy Sussex (ed)
Karen Chisholm
Monday, November 2, 2009
Review MEANER THAN FICTION - Lindy Cameron (ed)
Karen Chisholm
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Blog Currently Reading - Meaner than Fiction, Lindy Cameron
Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Review SHADOW ALLEY - Lucy Sussex
Karen Chisholm
Monday, September 17, 2007
ISBN
0140123024
Year of Publication
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