The former Helen Tomlinson Corrigan was the eldest daughter of Samuel Bradley and Louisa (née Lascelles) Corrigan. She was born on 7 June 1849 at the residence of Dr Thomas of Pontville in Tasmania.
She came to Geelong with her parents at an early age (before 1856) and was educated in Geelong and at Miss Murphy's school in St Kilda, Melbourne.
She worked as a journalist in New Zealand for several years and was subsequently incorrectly identified as a native of that country on occasions. She wrote for New Idea, from its inception in 1903 until the end of 1905, researching her articles both from personal experience and from interviews with women in various walks of life. She had feminist views about equal pay for women doing the same job as men and higher education for women. She also wrote articles for the Red Funnel, a New Zealand magazine which devoted considerable attention to Australian subjects. After the success of her first book, "For So Little", the story of a crime in 1890, which achieved wide acclaim, she moved to London.
She married Tom Harrison Davis on 5 August 1884 at Palmerston North in New Zealand. He became general manager of the London office of the New York Assurance Office. In 1895 her crime drama play "A Life Policy" did not succeed after the original matinée reported one source although another reported it was so successful it ran for twelve months. It was reported in New Zealand that the play was on for two years and then toured and the rights were bought by a company in New York.
In late 1894 she completed a new novel "Angus Murray", a psychological study dealing entirely with Australian life. In 1899 her book "A Dangerous Intimacy" was published.
Her mother's elder sister, Martha Elizabeth was married Charles John Dennys. Helen had erroneously been referred to as the former Miss Dennys.
Thomas Harrison Davis died on 10 July 1903 at Wellington, New Zealand. Helen died on 3 June 1910 at Canterbury in Kent, England. She left an invalid son, Noel (born 1885), who later died in an institution in England of TB and a very talented daughter, Enid Laura Louisa (born 1888).
from New Zealand newspapers — contributed by Cushla Randle
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