Eric Rolls AM
|Born||Eric Charles Rolls|
25 April 1923
Grenfell, New South Wales
|Died||31 October 2007 (aged 84)|
|Occupation||writer, environmentalist, farmer, historian|
|Notable awards||Greening Australia Journalism Award|
|Relatives||Joan Stephenson (wife)|
Elaine van Kempen (wife)
Rolls was born in Grenfell, New South Wales in 1923, and died in Camden Haven in 2007. He attended the Sydney selective school of Fort Street High, before serving in the second world war in New Guinea, as a signaller. On his return from the war, he took up land in 1946 in the north-west of New South Wales (east of the Pilliga and later at "Cumberdeen", Baradine) and farmed and wrote, often spending long periods in Sydney, researching at the Mitchell Library.
He had two happy marriages, the first with Joan Stephenson and after her death in 1985, a second with Elaine van Kempen (1937–2019), whom he met when she came to work for him in 1985 as his research assistant, and married in 1988.
"(Les) Murray considered A Million Wild Acres to be like an extended, crafted campfire yarn in which everyone has the dignity of a name, and in which the animals and plants have equal status with humans in the making of history: “It is not purely human history, but ecological history he gives us… one which interrelates the human and non-human dimensions so intimately.” Murray compared its discursive and laconic tone to the Icelandic sagas. Through his democratic recognition of all life, Rolls enchanted the forest and presented us with a speaking land, a sentient country raucous with sound."
- 1981 – A million wild acres : 200 years of man and an Australian forest
- 1984 – The river : a chronicle of life on the land / illustrated by Marianne Yamaguchi.
- 1984 – They all ran wild : the story of pests on the land in Australia (13 editions)
- 1984/1998 – Celebration of the senses
- 1992/1993 – Sojourners : the epic story of China's centuries-old relationship with Australia : flowers and the wide sea
- 1996 – Citizens : flowers and the wide sea : continuing the epic story of China's centuries-old relationship with Australia
- 2002 – Visions of Australia : impressions of the landscape 1642–1910
- 2011 – A million wild acres : 200 years of man and an Australian forest/ foreword by Les Murray
Eric Rolls Memorial Lecture
Funded by his widow, Elaine van Kempen, the Eric Rolls Memorial Lecture was inaugurated in 2010 as a biannual lecture.
- Libraries Australia: Rolls, Eric C. (Eric Charles) 1923–2007
- "Eric Rolls". www.austlit.edu.au. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Hanley, Penelope (2009). Creative Lives: Personal Papers of Australian Writers and Artists (Eric Rolls). National Library Australia. ISBN 978-0-642-27656-8.
- "Eric Rolls and the Pilliga". Radio National. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
- Griffiths, T (2007). "Rolls, Eric Charles (1923–2007)". Obituaries Australia. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- "ELAINE VAN KEMPEN Obituary - Byron Bay, New South Wales". Legacy.com. 16 July 2019. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
- Wyndham, S. (2007). "Author Rolls dies aged 84". Sydney Morning Herald (2007-11-03). Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Griffiths, T. (2016). "Golden disobedience: the history of Eric Rolls". Inside Story. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
- Rolls, Eric C. (Eric Charles); van Kempen, Elaine, Papers of Eric Rolls, 1821-2009, retrieved 9 October 2020
- "Eric Rolls Memorial Lecture | National Library of Australia". www.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
- Gammage, Bill; Watermark Literary Society; National Library of Australia (2010), Fire in 1788: The closest ally [sound recording] : the first Eric Rolls memorial lecture given by Bill Gammage at the National Library of Australia on 20 October 2010
- "Richard Kingsford: A Meander Down a River or Two". ABC Radio National. 17 July 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
- "Nicolas Rothwell: The Landscape Behind the Landscape". National Library of Australia. 22 October 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
- "Jose Nicholas: Gifts from China". National Library of Australia. 20 March 2016. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
- "Mother Earth with Bruce Pascoe". National Library of Australia. 28 November 2018. Retrieved 8 October 2020.
- Australian Honours: AM. Retreievd 13 October 2020
- Australian Honours: Centenary Medal. Retrieved 13 October 2020