Kate Baker

Catherine Baker (1861–1953) was an Irish-born Australian teacher, best known for encouraging and championing her friend Joseph Furphy, who wrote the quintessential Australian novel of its period, ''Such Is Life''. Despite an indifferent reception by the general public upon its initial publication in 1909, when it was written under the pen name Tom Collins, after Furphy's death Baker championed his work and had much of it rescued and republished. Miles Franklin incorporated Baker's recollections into the essay "Who Was Joseph Furphy?", which won the S. H. Prior Memorial Prize in 1939. Baker was appointed an OBE in 1937 for her efforts in promoting Furphy's work and to broader Australian literature. She was an influential part of the Australian literary scene, supporting, writing to and encouraging writers such as Ada Cambridge, Victor Kennedy, Edith Coleman, the poet Marie E. J. Pitt, journalist Alice Henry and the poet John Shaw Neilson. She was made a life member of the Henry Lawson Society, and honored with a bronze plaque by the society in 1936. Shortly before her death in 1953 she was made vice-president of the Australian Council for Civil Liberties. Provided by Wikipedia
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