The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley: Elizabeth Gould’s forgotten talent

Caroline Baum Spectrum October 14, 2016 The birds came first. Melissa Ashley was a twitcher before she decided to write The Birdman’s Wife, a historical novel that brings Elizabeth Gould out of the shadow of her husband John, Australia’s most celebrated ornithologist. A New Zealander, Ashley, 43, came to Australia aged eight with her parents… Continue reading The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley: Elizabeth Gould’s forgotten talent


Sneak Preview: Sumptuous Artwork

The Birdman’s Wife: Artwork In her eleven year career working as principal artist for her husband John Gould, Elizabeth Gould drew, painted and lithographed some 650 hand-coloured lithographs to illustrate the couple’s magnificent folios, featuring many of the world’s most beautiful bird species. Elizabeth, who was not a professionally trained artist, learned lithography from Edward… Continue reading Sneak Preview: Sumptuous Artwork


Leaves of a Diary

Searching for Elizabeth Gould in the Archives of the Mitchell Library ‘Who was Elizabeth Gould (1804-1841), and why has her name now been elevated to equal status with that of John Gould?’ wonders Roselyn Russell (2009: 1), author of the recent biography The Business of Nature: John Gould and Australia (2011). While the taxonomist and… Continue reading Leaves of a Diary


Biographical Sketch of Elizabeth Gould

Elizabeth Gould, 1830s, unknown artist Elizabeth Gould (nee Coxen) was born in 1804, in Ramsgate, Kent, to a military family. While little is known of her early life, at twenty-two, Elizabeth was employed as a governess, residing in James Street, London. Her young charge, Harriet Rothery, was the nine year old daughter of the chief… Continue reading Biographical Sketch of Elizabeth Gould