Ruth Bedford

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Ruth M. Bedford
Born Ruth Marjory Bedford
(1882-08-02)2 August 1882
Petersham, New South Wales, Australia
Died 24 July 1963(1963-07-24) (aged 80)
Paddington, New South Wales, Australia
Nationality Australian
Occupation poet and novelist

Ruth Bedford (2 August 1882 – 24 July 1963) was an Australian poet, playwright and fiction writer.


Born in Petersham, Sydney, to Alfred Percival Bedford and Agnes Victoria Stephen, daughter of Sir Alfred Stephen, an influential chief justice, whose family she wrote about in her humorous book A Family Chronicle (1954).[1]

Ruth Bedford and her sisters Sylvia and Alfreda were educated at home by governesses. Bedford proved a talented verse writer from an early age: her first book, Rhymes by Ruth was published when she was eleven years old in 1893 (revised and reprinted 1896).[2]

Bedford wrote a number of poems for various Australian newspapers, especially The Sydney Morning Herald, where her poetry appeared over a 30-year period. The Brisbane Courier described her as a poet who "writes attractive verse, reflective and sensitive to a degree."[3]

In 1931, Ruth Bedford established the Sydney PEN Centre in collaboration with her friend, the poet Dorothea Mackellar.[4] As honorary secretary she traveled to Buenos Aires as the club's representative in 1936.[5]

Ruth Bedford never married and died in Paddington, New South Wales in 1963.




  • Rhymes (1893)
  • Sydney at Sunset and Other Verses (1911)
  • Rosycheeks and Goldenhead (1914)
  • Fairies and Fancies (1929) children's poetry
  • The Learner and Other Verses (1937)
  • Who's Who in Rhyme and Without Reason (1948)


  • Think of Stephen: a family chronicle (1954)


  1. ^ Australian Poets and Their Works, by William Wilde, Oxford University Press, 1996
  2. ^ Australian Dictionary of Biography
  3. ^ "Australian Poetesses", The Brisbane Courier, 7 July 1928, p22
  4. ^ The Quarterly Sydney PEN, issue 126 – november 2006
  5. ^ "The P.E.N. Club", The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 July 1936, p10