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Davitt, Ellen (1812 - 1879)

Hull, Yorkshire, England
Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia


Davitt was born at Hull, Yorkshire, and came to Australia with her husband, Arthur Davitt, in 1854. The couple established a Model School in Melbourne, but a financial recession and in-house bickering led to its closure in 1859. Following Arthur Davitt's death the next year, Ellen Davitt went on teaching in various Victorian schools, gave popular lecture tours, and wrote several serialised novels, novellas and stories for the Australian Journal, beginning with a pioneering work of crime fiction, Force and Fraud: A Tale of the Bush (1865). Davitt was the sister-in-law of the successful British writer Anthony Trollope, but had little contact with him. She died alone in Fitzroy, Melbourne, after many years of poverty.

Rachael Weaver