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Dorothy Blewett ca. 1940s. Image provided by Blewett family.
Dorothy Blewett Dorothy Blewett i(A9840 works by) (birth name: Dorothy Emilie Blewett)
Also writes as: Anne Praize
Born: Established: 23 Jul 1898 Northcote, Preston - Northcote area, Melbourne - North, Melbourne, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 17 Sep 1965 Melbourne, Victoria,
Gender: Female
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1 y separately published work icon Relative Truth: A Play in Three Acts Dorothy Blewett , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2018 12860054 2018 single work drama

Charles and Miranda Harcourt are entertaining Miranda's sister and her husband, Felicity and Walter Cockburn. Walter has great news—he's secured a new job in Africa. Felicity is all too eager to move. Charles is considered a shoo-in for Walter's old position at the company. The four open a special bottle of champagne to celebrate the occasion. Charles' daughter, Susan, is expected to join them for dinner. However, an unexpected guest also arrives. Andrew Ferris is an old friend of Miranda and Felicity, who disappeared without explanation during the war. HIs sudden reappearance is met with a mixture of warm welcome and cold hostility from the sisters. Miranda is thrilled to see her old friend, but Felicity is determined to make him feel unwelcome. The tension rises as the party spends more time together. Suspicions are aroused, relationships formed, arguments and accusations fly, and ultimately, a long-hidden secret threatens to disrupt them all. 



 A City Business man (about 45)


His wife (late 30's)


Miranda's sister (33)


Felicity's husband, also in the City (about 47)


An Australian: ex R.A.A.F.  (35)


Daughter of Charles by a former marriage. (22)


Adopted son of Miranda and Charles Aged 12


 A neighbour (Fiftyish)

1 y separately published work icon Astral Journey Dorothy Blewett , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2018 12860025 2018 single work drama

Syliva and Henry Baring are expected to attend an evening party together. When Henry refuses to go at the last minute, Sylvia must yet again attend a social event alone. Feeling upset, she accuses her husband of loving his work and the law more than he loves her. Her complaint is interrupted by the appearance of a local spinster, Sarah Seedon. She claims to have pressing information about a case Henry is currently working on, but her evidence is laughable. She says that she has taken an astral journey, and witnessed a hit-and-run, insisting that the man on trial is not guilty. Henry at first dismisses her, but further revelations convince him that there might be something to her story. Sylvia, meanwhile, lingers in the background, still pondering the question of just how much her husband cares for her. 


Henry Baring

Crown Prosecutor  

Sylvia Baring

His Wife

Dr. Alex Curtis 

Madge Curtis

His Wife  

Sarah Seedon

A middle-aged spinster

1 y separately published work icon Challenge : A Play in One Act Dorothy Blewett , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2018 12846900 2018 single work drama

Jean Marie Roche dreams of being an artist, but she is unsure of her talent. Not convinced by the enthusiastic admiration of her fiancé and parents, she seeks out the opinion of reputable local artist, Peter Raid. The play centres around this encounter. Jean Marie learns that being an artist would mean separation from her fiancé—an unbearable ultimatum her mother knows all too well. Peter's severity evokes a hidden anger in the well-mannered girl—a passion with equal potential to end her dream, or reveal an unexpected opportunity. 


Jean Marie Roche

Just twenty-two. She is a rather pretty girl who looks and is capable. She is sure of herself and of

Rob Drury

Jean Marie's fiancé. Rob is in his late twenties, is moody and sensitive. Both Rob and Jean Marie are in tennis clothes.

Mr.  Roche

Mrs. Roche

Having produced Jean Marie, they rest on their laurels. They are ordinary small-town business people.

Dr. Kincaid

An ordinary small-town general practitioner. Probably the most popular man in the town. He is snort and tubby and he feels the heat.

Peter Raid

A middle-aged artist who wears good clothes carelessly and has a ravaged, intense face.

1 y separately published work icon I Have Taken a Prisoner Dorothy Blewett , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2018 12821426 2018 single work drama

Alleyne Manning has won the lottery. After decades of hard work, she can finally afford a tasteful apartment filled with furnishings, which are as dear to her as her new financial security. She plans to spend her days relaxing, playing bridge, and indulging in her comfortable life. However, she is already beginning to feel a little bored. Alleyne’s curt friends barely have a chance to criticise her situation before Lise Farra, an English ballerina, appears on Alleyne’s sundeck—stranded and seeking a way home.

The two fall immediately into sympathy with one another, and many months pass while they enjoy time together. Their relationship is marked by ongoing arguments—Lise is intense and tenacious, and often dissatisfied. Alleyne believes women ought to find companionship in men, and urges Lise to follow suit. Throughout the ensuing drama the two women find themselves drawn back to one another, time after time. Alleyne must eventually decide between the life and the man she had hoped for, and the gripping appeal of a life with Lise.

1 Austria Lifts Her Head Once More with Pride and Freedom Dorothy Blewett , 1955 single work essay travel
— Appears in: The Age , 15 October 1955; (p. 17)
1 2 This Girl Came to Our School Dorothy Blewett , 1949 single work short story
— Appears in: Hecate , vol. 42 no. 2 2016; (p. 62-65)

'There was girl came to our boarding school whose home was in Java. Her name was Josepha - Josepha de Vries. She was small with delicate wrists and ankles; her eyes, soft and dark, were mostly downcast above high cheekbones and her full mouth drooped pathetically. The bloom on her skin was neither gold nor olive, but something approaching both, and her hair was black with mahogany lights in its deep waves.' (Introduction)

1 3 y separately published work icon Pattern for a Scandal Dorothy Blewett , Sydney : Australasian Publishing Co. , 1948 Z94657 1948 single work novel

From dust jacket: “High Street, Chinaman’s Flat, might have been exchanged for any other High Street in North Gippsland, and no one have known the difference,” writes Miss Blewett in this absorbing story of life in one of Victoria’s small country towns. A West Australian gum, glorious with bright red bloom, a feathery jacaranda tree, pepper trees, and those tall, stark pines that so often flank the playground of a small-town schoolhouse are all here to lend authentic background to a tale of human joys and sorrows, triumphs and despairs that will not easily be forgotten. You will recognise in Caleb Williamson the school-master, in Arthur Marshall the town’s solicitor and in Bill Crotty, the bank manager, types that you not only have heard of, but known. In the young doctor and his wife, in Claude Clancy and in Lars Hansen and Catherine Treganowan you will meet a group of young people that might be met to-day in any of our more prosperous country districts. Jenny David, the central figure in the drama, you will not meet. But you will learn to know her intimately. She lives and breathes in every page of this extraordinarily satisfying story."

1 y separately published work icon Con Sordino Dorothy Blewett , 1945 10982904 1945 single work drama
4 19 y separately published work icon The First Joanna : A Play in Three Acts Dorothy Blewett , Melbourne : 1943 (Manuscript version)10930522 10930514 1943 single work drama (taught in 1 units)

In The First Joanna Dorothy Blewett explores Australia's acceptance of its convict heritage, tracing the fictional history of the Deverons, owners of a leading South Australian vineyard. The property, situated near the Onkaparinga River, was established in the early years of the colony by settler Stephen Deveron. The central characters of the play are the Joanna Millay, a young convict woman who becomes the matriarch of the Deverons, and Joanna Deveron, the wife of the second Stephen Deveron - the grandson of the first Joanna and the first Stephen Deveron.

The narrative begins on Joanna's birthday in 1945 and introduces the Deveron family. Joanna has only recently arrived at the vineyard and is still suffering from the effects of several years spent as a prisoner of war in Poland. Joanna and Stephen had married in England shortly before the outbreak of war but were forced apart after she became trapped behind enemy lines. Having led a peripatetic upbringing in Europe Joanna finds the dull monotony of life on the vineyard unbearable and is thinking of returning to Europe. Her love of Stephen is making the decision all the more painful.

When Stephen's maiden aunts give her a chair belonging to their mother, Joanna is at first horrifed by the thought of its staid existence. She at first can't bear think about it, but after discovering within the chair a set of diaries written by the first Joanna she becomes fascinated. The diaries reveal a life of trauma, loss, murder, illegitimacy, and eventually, triumph through love. Through her reading of the diaries the play's dramatic action segues into "interpolated scenes" depicting key moments in the lives of Stephen's forebears during the nineteenth century - 1837, 1849, 1862, 1871, and 1885. The diaries ultimately allow the contemporary Joanna the capacity to imagine a future at the vineyard with the man she truly loves.

Characters in the play (in order of appearance):

  • 1945: Stephen Deveron, Mrs Collins (who “obliges” at Chateau Deveron), Joanna Deveron, Jocelyn Cuming (Stephen’s second cousin), Halley van Druyten (Captain in the United States Army), Editha and Viola Deveron (Stephen’s twin great-aunts, aged 92), Jackson (the chauffeur)
  • 1837: Sir Bertram Tavener (Governor of a women's jail in Tasmania), Lady Caroline Tavenor (his wife), Miss Beatrice Tavenor (his sister), Captain Jules Smith (of the British Army, aged 29), Stephen Deveron (1st, aged 22), Joanna Millay (the first Joanna, aged 17).
  • 1849: Stephen (aged 34), Joanna (29)
  • 1862: Joanna (42), Stephen (47), their children: Augusta (20), Phillip (14), Editha and Viola (10); Major Jules Smith (54)
  • 1871: Viola and Edith (18), Joanna (51)
  • 1885: Joanna (64), Stephen (69)
1 y separately published work icon It Has Happened Before : A Verse Play for the Radio Dorothy Blewett , 1943 (Manuscript version)11141227 11141222 1943 single work drama

"A very different play of Dorothy Blewett's was "It Has Happened Before", written for the ABC's verse play competition. It is now apparent that this competition has brought forth results eminently worthwhile. It has indeed contributed considerable dramatic and poetic richness to the stock of Australian play literature. Dorothy Blewett's radio play tells with a degree of adult intellectuality and yet sensitive feeling the love story of a German Jew scientist and an Australian girl in Europe. The scientist has been persecuted and exiled by Hitler; he returns to Germany to save an even more distinguished scientific worker and willingly gives his life.

Beginning with apparent uncertainty, as Lenora unreservedly tells of her experiences to a women's club in Australia, the story and verse gather strength and dramatic momentum until the narrative becomes genuinely moving. The final plea for distinguished refugees, Jewish though they be, is truly compassionate. There is scalding satire in the closing return to the women's club where prejudice and intolerance appear as strongly, even as crudely, as in Germany. Lenora tells that a great foreign thinker has suicided in Australia for lack of a welcome. That this news falls on deaf ears at the women's meeting cannot but make its challenge to the responsible listener. For undoubtedly this play mirrors fact. There are numbers of European professional men of highest intellectual calibre in Australia today, debarred from anything but labouring work.It is ordinarily decent or sensible to treat them thus, is how one's on thought runs on, though Miss Blewett's play mainly pleads that Jews should be regarded as being of the same common flesh and blood as ourselves."

(Source: 'Drama in Sydney, The Australian Quarterly, September, 1943.)

2 19 y separately published work icon Quiet Night Dorothy Blewett , 1941 Sydney : RAAF Educational Services , 1943 Z561856 1941 single work drama

'Setting her action in a large hospital, Miss Blewett has undertaken no simple task in dealing with nursing from both its practical and psychological aspects, complicated in two cases by individual emotional strains. The play covers the hours of one hectic night in the hospital, in which the emotional preoccupations of several of the staff intrude on their professional duties' ('Australian Play' Argus 10 March 1941, 6).

1 1 y separately published work icon Working Back Dorothy Blewett , 1939 11007857 1939 single work drama
1 Melbourne Writers' Club [Meeting Report] Dorothy Blewett , 1937 single work column
— Appears in: All About Books , 15 July vol. 9 no. 7 1937; (p. 110)
Brief note on meeting of 24 June. Play readings 'Streaky Bacon' by Peacock and 'Forever' by King-South.
1 Melbourne Writers' Club [Meeting Report] Dorothy Blewett , 1937 single work column
— Appears in: All About Books , 12 May vol. 9 no. 5 1937; (p. 75)
Description of the meeting of 29 April where members stories were read (without disclosure of the author) and assessed.
1 1 The River Flats of Jildee Dorothy Blewett , 1935 single work short story
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 8 May vol. 56 no. 2882 1935; (p. 49-50)
1 15 y separately published work icon Vision : A Novel Anne Praize , Melbourne : Lothian , 1931 Z798531 1931 single work novel

From dust jacket: Vision is the story of an Australian girl, of middle-class family, who to share in a fortune, marries an Englishman who is the owner of large impoverished estates in England. They hate each other cordially at the opening of the story, but six months’ enforced companionship on a lonely station in Eastern Gippsland transforms their hatred into love. They discover a beautiful valley back in the hills which fires the imagination of Valmai who sees in it an ideal place for a settlement. Then Richard’s mother arrives from England accompanied by Cynthia to whom Dick has been practically engaged. Valmai forestalls the inevitable result by running away from the man and the home she loves ; but Dick discovers after she has fled how much she means to him and he sets out to make her vision settlement come true. The rest of the story tells of his efforts to do this, of how he moves an entire village from England to Vision, of the failure of the settlement and of its re-birth."

The novel was submitted to the Bulletin novel competition in 1928 or 1929. See 'The Australian Bookman' The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950) 9 July 1932: 13. It didn't win but did receive publication.

1 April and October Anne Praize , 1931 single work short story
— Appears in: Table Talk , 10 September 1931; (p. 23-25)
1 Alured The Assured Anne Praize , 1931 single work short story
— Appears in: Table Talk , 4 June 1931; (p. 13, 50, 51)
1 A Voice On The Telephone Anne Praize , 1931 single work short story
— Appears in: Table Talk , 16 April 1931; (p. 10-12)
1 The Debt Anne Praize , 1928 single work short story
— Appears in: The Australian Woman's Mirror , 13 March vol. 4 no. 16 1928; (p. 7, 52 - 53)
Two sisters sacrifice everything so that their brother can achieve success.