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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Meredith, Louisa Anne

Meredith, Louisa Anne (née Twamley), daughter of Thomas Twamley, of Hamptead, near Birmingham, where she was born on July 20th, 1812, was chiefly educated by her accomplished mother, and at an early age wrote verses and practised art with ardour and success. In 1833 she published an octavo volume of "Poems with Illustrations" (Tilt), the latter being etchings on copper from her own original drawings. The book was most favourably reviewed, and the novelty of a girl-poet being also artist and engraver excited considerable interest. Her "Romance of Nature" was a beautiful and costly volume in verse and prose, with hand-coloured plates from her own drawings—the 3rd edition published in 1839 (Tilt). "Our Wild Flowers" told the story of the year in a narrative form, with many poems introduced, the plates hand-coloured from the author's drawings. "A Tour in South Wales" and "An Autumn on the Wye" (Tilt) were illustrated with engravings after David Cox, Cattermole, etc. On April 18th, 1839, Miss Twamley married at Old Edgbaston Church, Birmingham, her cousin, Charles Meredith, and accompanied him on his return to Australia. Her "Notes and Sketches of New South Wales," published in Murray's "Home and Colonial Library," was one of the most popular volumes of that excellent series. It was followed, some years after, by "My Home in Tasmania" (Murray), with landscape illustrations by the Bishop of Tasmania (Dr. Nixon) and the author. "Over the Straits" (Chapman & Hall) was the narrative of a visit to Melbourne and the goldfields in 1856. " Lost" was the short life of a pet bird, told in poem and picture. In 1860 appeared "Some of my Bush Friends in Tasmania," published by Day & Sons, a large and elaborate work on the flora of the colony, with numerous coloured plates from the author's drawings, and original poems and prose. "Ebba," a novel, first appeared as a serial in the Australasian, then was published by Tinsley. "Grandmamma's Verse-Book for Young Australia," poems for children on local subjects, was printed in Hobart for the author. "Tasmanian Friends and Foes, Furred, Feathered and Finned," is also a book for young people, with coloured plates from the author's drawings (1880: Marcus Ward). In recognition of her life of scientific, artistic and literary work in the colony, Mrs. Meredith was long since elected an honorary member of the Tasmanian Royal Society, and was granted by the Government a pension of £100 a year. Prize medals have been awarded to her for botanical drawings of Tasmanian subjects, in the Exhibitions of London, 1862; Melbourne, 1866 and 1881; Sydney, 1870 and 1875; and Calcutta, 1884. A second series of "Bush Friends in Tasmania" is now in the press—Mrs. Meredith having made the voyage home, after an absence of fifty-one years, for the purpose of publishing her last book.