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Eliza Dunlop entry: Overview screen.
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Eliza Dunlop was a poet publishing in magazines (and in a cousin's novel) in the 1830s. Her first publications were uncontrovsial, but not long after emigrating to Australia in 1838 she printed in "The Australian" a dramatic monologue, "The Aboriginal Mother", which gives voice to a black victim of murderous white brutality. This publication was a political act, and enrolled Dunlop, together with the new Governor of New South Wales and her own husband, among those seeking to curb the outrages of settler extremism. She followed it up with further poems, and translations or transliterations of Aboriginal songs.
Milestones
1796 Eliza Hamilton, later ED, was born in Derry, Armagh, Northern Ireland. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 21 December 1833 ED contributed several inset poems to her cousin William Hamilton Maxwell's anonymous historical novel The Dark Lady of Doona, set on the west coast of Ireland at the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Bibliographic Citation link.
13 December 1838 ED had been in Australia for about ten months when she published in The Australian the poem which is still her best-known, "The Aboriginal Mother", about the infamous Myall Creek massacre. Bibliographic Citation link.
29 November 1841 After taking a few weeks to think over the attacks on her in the Sydney Herald, ED responded with a hard-hitting letter to the paper. Bibliographic Citation link.
20 June 1880 ED died at Sydney, Australia, after seventeen years as a widow. Bibliographic Citation link.
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