Catherine Edith Macauley Martin

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Catherine Edith Macauley Martin (1848 – 15 March 1937) was an Australian novelist who used the pseudonyms M. C., Mrs Alick MacLeod or anonymous.

Martin was born in the Isle of Skye in 1847 or early in 1848. Her father, whose name was Mackay, brought her to South Australia when a child, and in 1874 she was living at Mount Gambier. In that year she published at Melbourne a volume of poems The Explorers and other Poems. The book was credited to 'M.C.' and her name remained unknown to the public. She came to Adelaide and did journalistic work, including a serial story, Bohemian Born. For a period she was a clerk in the Education Department. In 1890 she published anonymously An Australian Girl, a novel which was favourably reviewed and in 1891 went into a second edition. This was followed in 1892 by The Silent Sea, published under the pseudonym of "Mrs Alick MacLeod".

In 1906 appeared The Old Roof Tree: Letters of Isbel to her Half-brother, a series of essays in letter-form. Some are supposed to be written from London, others from a cathedral town, while others describe a tour on the continent. In 1923 appeared The Incredible Journey, by C. E. M. Martin, the story of an Aboriginal woman's journey across desert country to recover her son.

Mrs Martin died in the Adelaide suburb of Hyde Park on 15 March 1937 in her ninetieth year. She married Frederick Martin who predeceased her. She was never as well known as she deserved to be, partly because her work was always published anonymously or under a pseudonym. An Australian Girl is an interesting book written by a woman of thoughtful and philosophic mind, and The Incredible Journey, with its sympathetic appreciation of the point of view of Indigenous Australians, is among the best books of its kind in Australian literature.


Catherine Edith Macauley Mackay married Frederick "Fred" Martin (9 April 1848 – 27 April 1909) on 4 March 1882 at St Paul's Church, Adelaide. They had no children. Fred's sister Lucy Martin (1839–1863) was married to John Howard Clark, editor of the South Australian Register; another sister, Annie Montgomerie Martin, was a noted teacher and headmistress.[1][2]



  • The Moated Grange : An Original Tale (1877)
  • An Australian Girl (1890)
  • The Silent Sea (1892)
  • The Old Roof Tree (1906)
  • The Incredible Journey (1923)


  • The Explorers and Other Poems (1874)



  1. ^ "Concerning People". The Register. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 20 August 1918. p. 4. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  2. ^ The Martin/Clark Book Committee The Hatbox Letters Published by the authors, Adelaide 1999 ISBN 0 646 36207 0

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