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After The Silent Sea

The pseudonym adopted by Catherine Martin for Bentley's edition of The Silent Sea–"Mrs. Alick Macleod"–was reused only once, for the Bentley colonial edition of An Australian Girl in 1894. In December 1895 Martin published a short story, "Mrs. Spender's Art Education", in the Leader. A series of obviously reminiscent "Vignettes of Travel" followed in the Age between October 1895 and January 1896, and in 1900 the Observer serialised a short novel, "At a Crisis". Set largely in north-west Western Australia, this reworks the kidnapping aspect of the plot of The Silent Sea, but has a woman medical student as a female hero.

Frederick Martin's ill-health sent the Martins to Europe again in 1904, and also meant that they were largely dependent on


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Catherine Martin's literary income. In 1906 she published The Old Roof-Tree: Letters of Ishbel to Her Half-Brother, Mark Latimer, a semi-autobiographical work which reflects on religious and moral values. By "some blunder", according to Catherine Helen Spence, it was not promoted or distributed in Australia.note At the same time, Bentley's successors, Macmillan, declined another novel, entitled "His Mother's Boy",note which would eventually be published in 1923 as The Incredible Journey. In 1907, after visiting Spain, where Catherine Martin immersed herself in Spanish literature,note they returned to South Australia. Spence reported: "She has literary work that she thinks she can do as well as care for him. The Old Roof Tree has brought her some money and more Kudos ... She has a feeling that she will be able to maintain him". However, sixteen months later Spence noted that she "looks worn and haggard–she still reads a good deal and takes notes but she can write nothing and I fear they are poor".note Frederick Martin died in April 1909.

In the following year, Catherine Martin returned to Europe, with a commission to produce articles on Oberammergau.note Subsequently she made only occasional visits to South Australia until her final return in 1932. She died in Adelaide on 17 March 1937. Although Spence remarked of her that "Europe and especially Italy seems to call her–and she does not love Australia as you and I do",note Australian settings and themes characterise not only The Silent Sea but much of her other fiction, in particular The Incredible Journey (1923), which tells the story of an Aboriginal mother's epic journey to find the son stolen from her by a white man. Her last published novel, it was the first to appear under her name.

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