Clacy, Ellen

Ellen Clacy (1830-1901)  was born in Richmond, Surrey. In 1852, she and her eldest brother Frederick sailed to Australia to seek their fortune. She visited the goldfields where she stayed for two months, but returned to England where she began a literary career under the pseudonym of “Cycla”. She earned her living till her marriage writing for newspapers and magazines. Her first book, while memoir,  gives a valuable account of life on the Victorian goldfields, particularly for women –  A Lady’s Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852–1853 (1853). She also wrote fiction, including the novels Lights and Shadows of Australian Life (1854), Passing Clouds (1858), and Aunt Dorothy’s Will (1860). In 1854, she married Charles Berry Clacy. She died in 1901 in London.


  • Thompson, Patricia (ed) (1963) A Lady’s Visit to the Gold Diggings in 1852-1853, Lansdowne Press, Melbourne