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Caffyn, Kathleen (1853 - 1926)


County Tipperary, Ireland
6 February 1926
Turin, Italy
Alternative Names
  • Caffyn, Mrs Mannington (also known as)
  • Iota (also known as)


Caffyn was born in Ireland and educated at home by governesses, before going to London where she trained as a nurse. In 1880 she went to Sydney with her husband, Stephen Mannington Caffyn, a doctor who was also a popular novelist. The couple moved to the Melbourne suburb of Brighton in 1883, where they associated with bohemian circles of artists and writers and became active in a range of social causes relating to the welfare of the mentally ill and the administration of charities. After returning to London in 1892, Kathleen went on to publish seventeen novels, many with romance themes. Several of her works had Australian settings, including the best-selling 'New Woman' novel, The Yellow Aster (1894), as well as A Comedy in Spasms (1895) and Dorinda and Her Daughter (1910).

Published resources


  • Iota, Children of circumstance, Hutchinson, London, 374 pp. Details
  • Iota, A yellow aster, Hutchinson & Co., London, 1894, 307 pp. Details
  • Iota, A comedy in spasms, Hutchinson, London, 1895, 282 pp. Details

Short Stories

  • Caffyn, Mrs ("Iota"), 'Lenchen', in Fisher, Lala (ed.), By creek and gully : stories and sketches mostly of bush life, told in prose and rhyme, by Australian writers in England, T. Fisher Unwin, London, 1899, pp. 145-162. Details
  • Caffyn, Mrs Mannington, 'Victims of Circe', in Martin, Mrs Patchett (ed.), Coo-ee : tales of Australian life, by Australian ladies, Griffith Farran Okeden & Welsh, London, 1891?, pp. 115-176. Details

Rachael Weaver