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Author and artist Ethel Sibyl Turner (1870-1958) wrote Seven Little Australians at Inglewood in Lindfield (now Woodlands, Killara) in 1893. Her suburban bushland surrounds became a key feature of her stories. On her 23rd birthday, Ethel wrote in her diary,
'Seven L. Aust. – sketched it out.' (24 January 1893).
'We have decided to go to Lindfield. It will be like being buried alive to live in a quiet little country place after the bustle and excitement of town life’, wrote Ethel Turner, who was not keen on her family’s move to the North Shore from the city suburb of Paddington in 1891. Although Ethel initially objected to the move, she soon 'liked the place awfully. It is a pretty square house with a long balcony and verandah, honeysuckle and white roses creeping up' (29 Sept 1891[AW1] ).
Ethel Turner was born in England in 1870. In 1879 she migrated to Australia with her mother and two sisters. The family settled in Sydney where Ethel and her sister Lilian attended Sydney Girls High School. They both edited a schoolgirls' magazine, Iris, and later the Parthenon, a literary magazine which ran for three years. In 1892 Ethel took over the children's page in the Illustrated Sydney News. Turner was prolific during her time in Lindfield, writing three novels as well as newspaper articles and short stories between 1891 and 1894.