‘Just one scribbled note from Marcie Muir led us to this amazing discovery … If we hadn’t had that serendipitous moment where Belinda [Murrell] was discovering in one book that Charlotte [Waring Atkinson] had written more than one published work, and then I almost simultaneously found this note, we would never have put the two things together and made that amazing discovery … It was a series of astonishing, serendipitous findings that led us to many of our most exciting insights.’ - Kate Forsyth.  

Join bestselling authors Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell for the second installment of their two-part author talk – a discussion about researching and finding collection material at the National Library, as they had to do when writing their new book, Searching for Charlotte

Watch the first part of the author talk

About the Book

Searching for Charlotte book cover

For almost 140 years, the author of Australia’s first book for children was a mystery. Known only by the description ‘a Lady Long Resident in New South Wales’, she was the subject of much speculation. It was not until 1980, after a decade of sleuthing, that legendary bibliographer Marcie Muir gave her a name: Charlotte Waring Atkinson. And not only a name, but an extensive creative family history, connecting her to two of the nation’s celebrated contemporary children’s writers, Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell.

To Forsyth and Murrell, Atkinson (also known as Barton) is great-great-great-great grandmother and the subject of the stories they grew up on—part of a thread of creative women that runs through the history of their family. Hers is one of the great lost stories of Australian history: a tale of love, grief, violence and triumph in the face of overwhelming odds.

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About Kate Forsyth

Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven. She is now the internationally bestselling author of 40 books, published in 17 countries, and has been voted one of Australia's Favourite 20 Novelists.

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About Belinda Murrell

At about the age of eight, Belinda Murrell began writing stirring tales of adventure, mystery and magic in hand illustrated exercise books. As an adult, she combined two of her great loves – writing and travelling the world – and worked as a travel journalist, technical writer and public relations consultant. Now, inspired by her own three children, Belinda is a bestselling, internationally published children’s author with a history of writing in her family that spans over 200 years.

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