ⓘ Colleen McCullough. McCullough was born in 1937. Her parents were James and Laurie McCullough. Her mother was a New Zealander of part-Māori descent. During her ..


ⓘ Colleen McCullough

McCullough was born in 1937. Her parents were James and Laurie McCullough. Her mother was a New Zealander of part-Māori descent. During her childhood, her family moved many times. She read a lot. She attended Holy Cross College.

McCullough earned a living as a teacher, librarian, and journalist. In her first year of medical studies at the University of Sydney she suffered dermatitis. She was told not to be a medical doctor. Instead, she switched to neuroscience and worked in Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.

In 1963, McCullough moved to the United Kingdom for four years. At Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, she met the chairman of the neurology department at Yale University. He offered her a research associate job at Yale. McCullough spent ten years from April 1967 to 1976 researching and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. It was while at Yale that she wrote her first two books.

Because these books were successful, McCullough stopped being a doctor. In the late 1970s, she lived in London and Connecticut, USA. She finally picked Norfolk Island in the Pacific. There she met her husband, Ric Robinson then 33 years old. They married on 13 April 1983 she was 46 years old.

In 1984 a portrait of McCullough, painted by Wesley Walters, was a finalist in the Archibald Prize. The prize is for the "best portrait painting preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics".

McCullough did a lot of historical research for the novels on ancient Rome. This led to her getting a Doctor of Letters degree by Macquarie University in 1993.

McCullough was a member of the New York Academy of Sciences. She was a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She now lives in Sydney.

Some people did not like McCulloughs 2008 novel The Independence of Miss Mary Bennett. She changed some of the characters in Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice.

McCullough died on 29 January 2015 at the age of 77 on Norfolk Island from renal failure.


1. Writing history


  • Angel Puss 2004
  • The Song of Troy 1998
  • Tim 1974. Made into a film in 1979
  • "Too Many Murders" 2010
  • A Creed for the Third Millennium 1985
  • The Touch 2003
  • The Ladies of Missalonghi 1987
  • On, Off 2006
  • An Indecent Obsession 1981
  • The Thorn Birds 1977
  • The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet 2008
  • Morgans Run 2000


  • The Courage and the Will: The Life of Roden Cutler VC 1999

Masters of Rome Series

  • Caesars Women 1996
  • The Grass Crown 1991
  • Caesar 1997
  • Antony and Cleopatra 2007
  • The October Horse 2002
  • The First Man in Rome 1990
  • Fortunes Favorites 1993

Carmine Delmonico series

  • On, Off 2006
  • Naked Cruelty 2010
  • Too Many Murders December 2009

2. Screen adaptations

  • Mary & Tim - a 1996 adaptation of the novel Tim
  • The Thorn Birds - made into a TV miniseries in 1983 starring Richard Chamberlain
  • The Thorn Birds: The Missing Years - made into a TV miniseries in 1996 starring Richard Chamberlain.
  • An Indecent Obsession - made into a movie in 1985 starring Gary Sweet
  • Tim - made into a movie in 1979 starring Mel Gibson and Piper Laurie