Eleanor Dark Biography
(1901–85), Bulletin, Slow Dawning, Prelude to Christopher, Return to Coolami, Sun Across the Sky, Waterway
Australian novelist, born in Sydney. She began contributing stories to the Bulletin and other journals from 1921. Her first novel, Slow Dawning (1932), like many of her works, was set in a small country town. Prelude to Christopher (1933), a more ambitious novel, displays a prevailing concern with the nature of time. Return to Coolami (1935) explores the inner worlds of four people during a long car journey through New South Wales. In Sun Across the Sky (1937) and Waterway (1938) the action takes place in a single day and centres on the interrelationship of the characters, some of whom appear in both novels. The Little Company (1945) centres on Gilbert Massey, a radical Sydney-based writer-publisher. Themes of pacifism, feminism, politics, and religion, and an intense psychological focus, characterize her works. The historical trilogy, The Timeless Land (1941), Storm of Time (1948), and No Barrier (1953), traces the development of European settlement in Australia from 1788 to 1813. Published in one volume as The Timeless Land in 1963, the trilogy is widely regarded as a landmark in Australian national literature for its realistic yet imaginative portrayal of an emergent society.