Mary Gilmore

Mary Gilmore (née Cameron) was a poet, author, journalist, and social campaigner. She is especially well-known for her two most famous poems, “No Foe Shall Gather Our Harvest” (1940) and “Nationality” (1942), both written during the Second World War.

She was born at the property “Merry Vale”, Woodhouselee (north of Goulburn), New South Wales, on 16 August 1865. Mary was the eldest child of Donald Cameron (born in Scotland) and Mary Ann Cameron (née Beattie; born in Australia, of Irish parents).

Gilmore was a school teacher, a participant in the Australian socialist colony in Paraguay, the convener of the women’s section of The Worker newspaper, as well as being the author of 14 books during her lifetime (as well as being the editor of The Worker Cook Book, a highly popular collection of recipes, of which many editions were published), in addition to some small booklets.

Mary Gilmore died at home in King’s Cross, Sydney (NSW), on 3 December 1962.

Books and booklets by Mary Gilmore:
1910: Marri’d and Other Verses, Melbourne: George Robertson & Co., [1910] (poetry)
1915: The Tale of Tiddley Winks, Sydney: The Bookfellow, [1915] (poetry) [booklet for children, 4 pages]
1915: The Worker Cook Book: Compiled from the Tried Recipes of Thrifty Housekeepers Sent From All Parts of Australia to The Worker’s Woman’s Page, Sydney: Worker Trustees (editor) [several editions were published]
1918: The Passionate Heart, Sydney: Angus & Robertson (poetry)
1922: Hound of the Road, Sydney: Angus and Robertson (prose)
1925: The Tilted Cart: A Book of Recitations, Sydney: [The Worker?] (poetry)
1930: The Wild Swan, Melbourne: Robertson & Mullens (poetry)
1931: The Rue Tree: Poems, Melbourne: Robertson & Mullens (poetry)
1932: Under the Wilgas, Melbourne: Robertson & Mullins (poetry)
1934: Old Days: Old Ways: A Book of Recollections, Sydney: Angus & Robertson (prose) [republished 1986]
1935: More Recollections, Sydney: Angus & Robertson (prose)
1939: Battlefields, Sydney: Angus and Robertson (poetry)
1941: The Disinherited, Melbourne: Robertson & Mullens (poetry)
1945: Pro Patria Australia and Other Poems, Sydney: W. H. Honey, [1945] (poetry) [booklet]
1948: Selected Verse, Sydney: Angus and Robertson (poetry) [republished as an enlarged edition, 1969]
1954: Fourteen Men: Verses, Sydney: Angus and Robertson (poetry)
1954: All Souls, Cremorne (NSW): Walter W. Stone (poetry) [booklet, 3 pages]
1955: Verse for Children, Sydney: Writers’ Press (poetry) [for children]

Note: The year of publication for Mary Gilmore’s undated booklet Pro Patria Australia and Other Poems (1945) was obtained from the catalogue of the National Library of Australia.

Further reading:
W. H. Wilde, “Gilmore, Dame Mary Jean (1865–1962)”, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University
Mary Gilmore”, Melbourne Press Club
Mary Gilmore”, Austlit
Mary Gilmore”, Wikipedia

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