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Sibyl Elyne Mitchell

Literary and Poets

Sibyl Elyne Mitchell

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Sibyl Elyne Mitchell
1913-2002 Elyne Mitchell, a city girl, moved to the country in 1935, settling beneath the Snowy Mountains on the Upper Murray River, in an isolated spot outside Corryong, about three hours drive from Albury. This was the start of a love affair with the region, the rolling hills and flood plain of the river, and the majestic mountains stretching away beyond it, as "the land that built my heart".

Elyne Mitchell is best known as the author of The Silver Brumby (1958) and its associated series about wild horses that live far from humans in the secret valleys of the Snowy Mountains. There are 13 books, published in more than 40 countries, with a movie, TV series and Silver Brumby web sites, that attest to the popularity and enduring appeal. It is hard to believe that six publishers turn down the original novel.

Her first book, Australia's Alps, immortalised her trips with husband Tom exploring the mountains and showed her advocacy of the Snowy Mountain region. Newspaper articles on soil conservation led to the book Soil and Civilisation and Speak to the Earth (1945).

In 1988, she received the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to literature and in 1993 she was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters from Charles Sturt University.

Copyright constraints in Australia normally allow free use of works published during the lifetime of the author only after fifty years have expired since the author's death. Different rules hold in the USA, and copyright can exist in such materials until 75 years after the death of the author. Re-edited works (i.e. works with textual amendment) gain independent copyright protection dating from the publication of the re-edited version.

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