SCANLAN, Ellen (Nelle) Margaret
A new biography of Scanlan, Ellen Margaret appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Nelle Scanlan was born at Picton on 15 January 1882, the daughter of Michael Scanlan, sergeant of Police, and Ellen Scanlan, née Kiely. She was educated at the Convent of Mercy, Blenheim, where she began writing fiction, verse, and plays when she was nine years of age. Before the First World War she wrote many stories and sketches for New Zealand newspapers and, also, her first novel. She joined the Manawatu Daily Times as subeditor and was, for a time, acting editor. In 1921 she was the only New Zealand journalist to cover the Washington Conference and travelled widely in America, Canada, Europe, and East Asia. During this period she contributed articles to newspapers in England, Canada, the United States, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. In 1927 she covered the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York; and in the same year moved to London, where she became a member of P.E.N., promoted the foundation of the New Zealand Centre, and reported several international conferences. She has published the following novels: Top Step (1931), Primrose Hill (1931), Tides of Youth (1933), Winds of Heaven (1934), Ambitious Harvest (1935), The Marriage of Nicholas Potter (1936), Leisure for Living (1937), Pencarrow (1937), A Guest for Life (1938), Kelly Pencarrow (1939), March Moon (1944), Kit Carmichael (1946), The Rusty Road (1949), Confidence Corner (1950), and The Young Summer (1952). In 1963 she published her autobiography, Road to Pencarrow.
In 1965 Nelle Scanlan was awarded the M.B.E.