- 16 July 1902
Picton, New South Wales, Australia
- 29 Jun 1957
Florida, United States of America
Cottrell was born at Picton, New South Wales, and moved with her family to Ballarat, where a childhood case of polio left her confined to a wheelchair. She studied at home with governesses and was later taught by several distinguished artists in Sydney. She married in secret and spent time on Dunk Island with the colonial naturalist and writer Edmund Banfield and his wife, before travelling around New South Wales in a truck. Her first novel, The Singing Gold (1927), was an international success, bought for serialisation by the American Ladies' Home Journal for $5000 as well as appearing in Australian and British periodicals. Two other novels followed: Earth's Battle (1930) and The Silent Reefs (1954), as well as short stories and several books for children.