Margaret Scott (author)

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Margaret Scott
Margaret Scott (author).jpg
Born(1934-06-20)20 June 1934
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Died29 August 2005(2005-08-29) (aged 71)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Margaret Daphne Scott (20 June 1934 – 29 August 2005) was an Australian author, poet, comedian, educator and public intellectual.


Margaret, her first husband, playwright Michael Boddy (1934–2014), and her first son, Daniel, migrated to Tasmania from the United Kingdom in 1959. Two more children, Kate and Marcus, were born in Tasmania. From 1979, she lived with legal scholar Michael Scott and had her final child, Sarah, as well as becoming the step mother to Jane, Christian and Katharine Scott. In 1978, Margaret received her PhD from the University of Tasmania, and was head of the English department at the university until 1989. She worked at the university for over 25 years, but left to devote herself full-time to her writing career. Her publications include four books of poetry, two novels, a libretto and numerous articles. She became well known in Australia in the 1990s as a regular guest on the television show Good News Week. She was also known for her activism on environmental issues and human rights.

In 1995, a portrait of Margaret Scott by painter Geoffrey Dyer was a finalist in the Archibald Prize. The prize is awarded for a painting, "preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics."[1]

In 2005, she was selected for the inaugural Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women and received the Australia Council Writers Emeritus Award. She died of emphysema.

In 2007 the inaugural Margaret Scott Prize for best book by a Tasmanian author was awarded as one of the Tasmanian Premier's Literary Prizes.[2]


Margaret Scott publications available at the State Library of Tasmania include:

  • The Baby Farmer (1990)
  • The Black Swans (1988)
  • Changing Countries : on moving from one island to another (2000)
  • Collected Poems (2000)
  • Convict Trail : Tasman Peninsula and Port Arthur (2000?)
  • Family Album : a novel of secrets and memories (2000)
  • In the shadows [previously published as The Baby Farmer] 2001
  • Port Arthur : a story of strength and courage (1997)
  • Tricks of Memory : poems (1980)
  • "Uneasy Eden : peace and conflict in a rural community" [pamphlet] (1997)
  • Visited (1983)

Margaret Scott's poetry has been featured in a number of anthologies including:

  • The best Australian poetry 2004 (2004)
  • Effects of light: the poetry of Tasmania (1985)
  • New music: an anthology of contemporary Australian poetry (2001)
  • River of Verse: A Tasmanian Journey 1800–2004 (2004)
  • A writer's Tasmania. Vol. 1 (2000)

Recorded programs:

  • The nature of gardens [four Australian writers explore what gardens mean] – ABC sound cassette (2001)
  • That beauty is better than brains : the debate – ABC sound cassette (1994


  1. ^ "Archibald.prize 07". Art Gallery NSW. Archived from the original on 10 July 2007. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
  2. ^ "Past Winners". Arts Tasmania. Retrieved 1 January 2018.

External links[edit]