# 42989

MEREDITH, Louisa Anne (1812-1895)

Loved and lost! The true story of a short life. Told in gossip verse, and illustrated

/ by Louisa Anne Meredith. London : Day & Son ; Melbourne and Sydney : George Robertson ; Adelaide : W. C. Rigby ; Hobart and Launceston : Walch & Sons, [1860]. First edition. Octavo (210 x 150 mm), contemporary half blue morocco over marbled papered boards (unevenly sunned, mild wear at corners), spine with raised bands decorated and lettered in gilt (ends slightly bumped); all edges gilt; original marbled endpapers, first blank with gift inscription dated Christmas 1895; with the lithographed illustrated extra title-leaf, and lithographed illustrated dedication leaf; pp. [1]-96; with 14 full-page lithographed plates and additional monochrome text illustrations; contents exceptionally clean and bright, binding nice and firm; a fine copy.

Colonial writer Louisa Anne Meredith’s story of the short life of a parakeet is one of her most elusive works.

Muir, 4971

‘Louisa Anne Twamley was born in Birmingham, England, the daughter of Thomas Twamley and Louisa Ann née Meredith. She was educated mainly by her mother, and in 1835 published a volume, Poems, which was reviewed favourably. This was followed by The Romance of Nature (1836, third edition 1839), mostly in verse. Another volume was published in 1839, subtitled An autumn ramble on the Wye an account of a tour on the River Wye from Chepstow to near its source at Plynlimon.

On 18 April 1839, she married her cousin, Charles Meredith at Old Edgbaston Church, Birmingham. Charles had emigrated to Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) in 1821 with his father George and family. They had been pioneers of grazing, whaling and other activities around Swansea on Tasmania’s East Coast. Charles had become a squatter in the Canberra district of New South Wales.

Meredith and her husband sailed for New South Wales in June 1839, and arrived at Sydney on 27 September 1839. After travelling into the interior as far as Bathurst, Mrs Meredith returned to the coast and lived at Homebush for around a year, and where she bore a son. Towards the end of 1840 they relocated to Charles’ father’s property Cambria in Oyster Bay in Tasmania, where the couple’s second son was born in 1844 at their newly built neighbouring property Spring Vale, in Great Swan Port. Severe economic depression in New South Wales caused their loss of ‘all we owned in that colony.’ Charles was appointed the Port Sorell police magistrate in 1844 by Lieutenant-Governor Eardley-Wilmot, after which the family, now with three sons, returned in 1848 to live on part of Charles’ father’s Cambria.

An account of her first 11 years in Australia is given in her two books, Notes and Sketches of New South Wales (1844), reprinted at least twice, and My Home in Tasmania (1852), which was soon republished in the United States under the title Nine Years in Australia.

For most of her life Louisa Meredith lived on properties around Swansea. In 1860 she published Some of My Bush Friends in Tasmania which contained elaborate full-colour plates printed by the new chromolithography process. The illustrations were drawn by herself, and simple descriptions of characteristic native flowers were given. In 1861 an account of a visit to Victoria in 1856, Over the Straits, was published, and in 1880 Tasmanian Friends and Foes, Feathered, Furred and Finned. This went into a second edition in 1881. In 1891, Meredith went to London to supervise the publication of Last Series, Bush Friends in Tasmania. Published at the beginning of a severe financial depression in the Australian colonies, this project and the collapse of the bank where most of her savings were held ruined her financially. In her final years Meredith had chronic sciatica and became blind in one eye. She died in Collingwood, Victoria (a suburb of Melbourne) on 21 October 1895, and was buried at Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton North, Victoria.’ (Wikipedia)