Kate Forsyth

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Kate Forsyth
Kate Forsyth in 2007.
Kate Forsyth in 2007.
BornKatherine[1] Emma[2] Humphrey
(1966-06-03) 3 June 1966 (age 55)
Sydney, Australia
OccupationWriter, Poet, Journalist
GenreHistorical Fiction, Children's literature, Fantasy
SubjectKate Forsyth//Author

Kate Forsyth (born 3 June 1966) is an Australian author. She is best known for her historical novel Bitter Greens, which interweaves a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale with the true life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force.

Forsyth is also the author of several children's books, including The Gypsy Crown, The Puzzle Ring, The Starthorn Tree, The Wildkin's Curse, The Starkin Crown and Dragon Gold. She has also published two heroic fantasy series, The Witches of Eileanan and Rhiannon's Ride, the poetry collection Radiance, and the novel Full Fathom Five under her maiden name, Kate Humphrey. She is a five-time Aurealis Award winner.[3]

She is married with three children, and lives in Sydney, New South Wales. She is also a direct descendant of Charlotte Barton, the author of Australia's earliest known children's book. Forsyth's older sister, Belinda Murrell, is also an author for children and young adults and their younger brother, Nick Humphrey, is a nonfiction author.[4]


After graduating in a Bachelor of Arts in Literature from Macquarie University, Forsyth worked as a full-time journalist, including Editor of Hair and deputy editor of Money Watch before quitting to work freelance, writing articles for Vogue Australia, Black+White, Studio Bambini, Mode Brides, Interiors and Australian Collections amongst others.

Freelancing allowed her to concentrate more on her poetry and to be President of the Poets Union. She publishes her poetry under her maiden name, Kate Humphrey. This has appeared in Australian newspapers, such as The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Bulletin, and domestic and international literary magazines.

She wrote "Full Fathom Five" as the thesis for her Master of Arts in Writing, and then, to relieve the tedium of studying theorists such as Lacan, Derrida and de Saussure for her exams, she started reading a multi-book fantasy series. The turning point was when her husband, Greg Forsyth, suggested that she write such a series herself.

She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairy-tale retelling at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her novel Bitter Greens was written as the creative component of her doctorate, and she is now writing a theoretical examination of Rapunzel.



The Witches of Eileanan series[edit]

  • Dragonclaw (1997) - released as The Witches of Eileanan in the US.
  • The Pool of Two Moons (1998)
  • The Cursed Towers (1999)
  • The Forbidden Land (2000)
  • The Skull of the World (2001)
  • The Fathomless Caves (2002)

Rhiannon's Ride series[edit]

  • The Tower of Ravens (2004)
  • The Shining City (2005)
  • The Heart of Stars (2006)

The Chain of Charms series (for 9-18-year olds)[edit]

  • The Gypsy Crown (2006)
  • The Silver Horse (2006)
  • The Herb of Grace (2007)
  • The Cat's Eye Shell (2007)
  • The Lightning Bolt (2007)
  • The Butterfly in Amber (2007)

Ben and Tim's Magical Misadventures (for young readers)[edit]

  • Dragon Gold (2005)
  • Wishing For Trouble (2006)
  • Sea Magic (2008)

The Impossible Quest series[edit]

  • Escape from Wolfhaven Castle (2014)
  • The Wolves of the Witchwood (2015)
  • The Beast of Blackmoor Bog (2015)
  • The Drowned Kingdom (2015)
  • Battle of The Heroes (2015)

The Chronicles of Estelliana[edit]

  • The Starthorn Tree (2002)
  • The Wildkin's Curse (2010)
  • The Starkin Crown (May 2011)

Other children's books[edit]

  • The Puzzle Ring (2009)
  • Vasilisa the Wise and Other Tales of Brave Young Women (2017), fairy tales collection
  • Once (2019)
  • The Buried Moon and Other Tales of Brave Young Women (2019), fairy tales collection
  • Snow White, Rose Red and Other Tales of Kind Young Women (2020), fairy tales collection
  • The Gardener's Son and the Golden Bird and Other Tales of Gentle Young Men (forthcoming), fairy tales collection

Contemporary fiction[edit]

  • Full Fathom Five - as Kate Humphrey (2003), a retelling of The Little Mermaid set in modern-day Australia
  • Dancing on Knives (2014) revised version of Full Fathom Five - as Kate Forsyth

Historical Fiction[edit]

Other adults' books[edit]

  • The Silver Well (2017) - short stories collection with Kim Wilkins

Short stories[edit]

  • Love, Pain & Self-Will (1994) - as Kate Humphrey
  • The Boy from the Monster Forest (1998)
  • Morgan of the Fay (2002)
  • The Key (2008)
  • Count Stoneheart and the First Christmas Tree (2012)
  • Tales of the Sidhe (2015), two tales later re-published in the collections Vasilisa the Wise and The Buried Moon

Non fiction[edit]

  • The Rebirth of Rapunzel: A Mythic Biography of the Maiden in the Tower (2016)
  • Searching for Charlotte (2020) - with her sister Belinda Murrell, a bibliomemoir about their ancestor Charlotte Waring Atkinson


  • Moths (1993)
  • The Knowledge of Angels (1996)
  • Night Vigil (1998) - as Kate Humphrey
  • Siren Soul (1998) - as Kate Humphrey
  • Falling from Grace (2000) - as Kate Humphrey
  • I See My Life (2000) - as Kate Humphrey
  • Midnight Garden (2000) - as Kate Humphrey
  • World Lurches (2000) - as Kate Humphrey
  • Mythologies (2004)
  • Radiance (2004)


  • Heroic Fantasy (1998)
  • Fantasy Book Reviews (Aurealis, #33-35) (2004)
  • Cecilia Dart-Thornton and The Crowthistle Chronicles (2008)
  • Fantasy News (Aurealis #40) (2008)
  • Alison Croggon and The Books of Pellinor (2008)
  • The Forgotten Fairy Tale Tellers (2013)
  • Introduction to The Year of Ancient Ghosts (2013)
  • Thirteen Things I Love About Kim Wilkins (2013)


  1. ^ https://www.facebook.com/172327916160306/photos/pb.100050197072052.-2207520000../2525840094142398/?type=3[user-generated source]
  2. ^ Kate Forsyth & Belinda Murrell, Searching for Charlotte, NLA publishing, 2020, p 125, 157.
  3. ^ Morris, Linda (9 June 2012). "Frontier women".
  4. ^ Literary families: sisters and writers Belinda Murrell and Kate Forsyth

External links[edit]