MEREDITH, Louisa Anne (1812-1895)


MEREDITH, Louisa Anne (1812-1895)
miscellaneous writer
daughter of Thomas Twamley, was born near Birmingham, on 20 July 1812. She was educated chiefly by her mother, and in 1835 published a volume, Poems, which was favourably reviewed. This was followed in 1836 by The Romance of Nature, mostly in verse, of which a third edition was issued in 1839. Another volume was published in the same year, The Annual of British Landscape Scenery, an account of a tour on the Wye from Chepstow to near its source at Plinlimmon. Shortly afterwards Miss Twamley was married to her cousin, Charles Meredith (q.v.). They sailed for New South Wales in June 1839, and arrived at Sydney on 27 September. After travelling into the interior as far as Bathurst, Mrs Meredith returned to the coast and lived at Homebush for about a year. Towards the end of 1840 Mrs Meredith went to Tasmania, and an interesting account of her first 11 years in Australia is given in her two books, Notes and Sketches of New South Wales (1844), reprinted at least twice, and My Home in Tasmania (1852).
For some years Mrs Meredith lived in the country. In 1860 she published Some of My Bush Friends in Tasmania. The illustrations were drawn by herself, and simple descriptions of characteristic native flowers were given. In the following year an account of a visit to Victoria, Over the Straits, was published, and in 1880 Tasmanian Friends and Foes, Feathered, Furred and Finned. This went into a second edition in 1881. In 1891, in her eightieth year, Mrs Meredith went to London to supervise the publication of Last Series, Bush Friends in Tasmania. She died at Melbourne on 21 October 1895 and was survived by children. Other publications by her are listed in Serle's Bibliography of Australasian Poetry and Verse, and Miller's Australian Literature. Mrs Meredith was the author of two novels, Phoebe's Mother (1869), which had appeared in the Australasian in 1866 under the title of Ebba, and Nellie, or Seeking Goodly Pearls (1882). Mrs Meredith took great interest in politics and frequently wrote unsigned articles for the Tasmanian press. This was no new thing for her as in her youth she had written articles in support of the Chartists. When she visited Sydney in 1882, Sir Henry Parkes told her that he had read and appreciated her articles when a youth. After her husband's death she was granted a pension of £100 a year by the Tasmanian government.
Mrs Meredith was tall and of commanding presence. Her poetry is no more than pleasant verse, but she had a true feeling for natural history and was a capable artist. Many of her books were illustrated by herself. Her volumes on New South Wales, Tasmania, and Victoria in the 1840s and 50s, will always retain their value as first hand records.
Miss M. Swann, Journal and Proceedings Royal Australian Historical Society, vol. XV, pp. 1-29; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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