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Rosa Praed Rosa Praed i(A65299 works by) (birth name: Rosa Caroline Murray-Prior) (a.k.a. Mrs Campbell-Praed; Mrs Campbell Praed)
Also writes as: R. Murray Prior
Born: Established: 27 Mar 1851 Bromelton, Beaudesert area, Beaudesert - Tamborine - Rathdowney area, South East Queensland, Queensland, ; Died: Ceased: 10 Apr 1935 Torquay, Devon (County),
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,

Gender: Female
Expatriate assertion Departed from Australia: 1876
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The daughter of Thomas Murray-Prior and granddaughter of Thomas Harpur (q.v), Rosa Praed was raised on her father's stations. She also experienced the political and social life of Brisbane when her father entered politics. After her marriage to Arthur Campbell Praed in 1872, the couple lived at the Praed station near Gladstone for three years before moving to England in 1876. Rosa Praed revisited Australia only once, in 1894-1895, but frequently drew on her life in Australia for much of her fiction.

Praed was encouraged to write by her mother from an early age and she contributed to the family's handwritten 'Marroon Magazine'. Her first novel, An Australian Heroine, was published in 1880. More than forty-five books followed, including collaborations with the Irish politician Justin McCarthy. Her short story and sketch collections include Australian Life (1895), Dwellers by the River (1902), The Luck of the Leura (1907), Stubble Before the Wind (1908), and A Summer Wreath (1909).

After separating from her husband, Praed lived between 1899-1927 with Nancy Harward whom she believed to be the reincarnation of a Roman slave girl. Praed's growing interest in spiritualism and the occult is reflected in many of her later novels.

Praed's most admired novel is Policy and Passion (1881) which, like many of her Australian novels, explores the unsatisfactory marriages of intelligent women to insensitive and spiritually limited males. The well-drawn background of the years following Queensland's separation from New South Wales demonstrates the astute observations of politics that were included in much of Praed's fiction. Colin Roderick also notes that her work shows a notable justice to the Aborigines.

Praed moved with Nancy Harward to Torquay in the early 1920s, but, following the latter's death in 1927, she lived the remainder of her life in loneliness and ill-health. Rosa Praed died in 1935.

Praed also wrote, with Justin McCarthy, The Grey River, a book on the Thames published in 1890.

Most Referenced Works


  • See also the full Australian Dictionary of Biography Online entry for Praed, Rosa Caroline.
  • The Literary Year-Book 1921 lists Rosa Caroline Macworth as a pseudonym for Praed.

Known archival holdings

Albinski 184-5
State Library of Queensland State Library of QLD (QLD)
Last amended 7 Feb 2014 14:47:13
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