Nat Gould

His life and books


Nat Gould

Nat Gould
Born: 1857 in Manchester
Died: 1919 at Bedfont, Middlesex
Father
Nathaniel Gould 1824-1874
Mother
Mary Wright 1827-1897
Siblings
William Pichott Gould 1855-1857
Henry Gilbert Gould 1859-1860
Spouse
Elizabeth Madeline Ruska
Children
Edith Mary Gould
Sidney Nathaniel Gould
Herbert Ruska Gould
Doris Isabel Gould
Gladys Dorothy Gould
Frederick William Gould
Winifred Madeline Gould
Norman Henry Gould
Nat Gould in 1908

Nat Gould in 1908

Nathaniel Gould, universally known as Nat Gould, was born on 21 December 1857 at 27 York Street in Cheetham, a suburb of Manchester.

Nat Gould was to spend most of his early life in that city, where his father, Nathaniel Gould 1824-1874 was a tea merchant. The family had only recently become settled in Manchester, however, at the time of Nat's birth. His parents were country people. His father was a younger son of an old yeoman family, the Goulds of Pilsbury Grange near Hartington in Derbyshire. His mother, née Mary Wright, was also born and bred in the country. This pastoral inheritance was important to Nat Gould throughout his life, and he wrote eloquently and longingly of his ancestral home.

After leaving school, his first employment was, not unnaturally, in the tea trade. Later he went farming at Pilsbury Grange and still later farming in Bradbourne. Having no hope of a farm of his own, he returned to the Manchester tea trade in 1876, taking up a job at Auty and Firth. Then he moved to Nottinghamshire and became a journalist at Newark.

After a few years during which he worked hard and learned the trade, he began to experience discontent at Newark. In 1884 he emigrated to Australia, where he worked on various newspapers successively in Brisbane, Sydney, Bathurst and then back in Sydney. During his second spell in Sydney he wrote his first books, and continued his career as an author after his return to England in 1895, and settling down with his family to life at Bedfont in Middlesex.

During his relatively short life of just over sixty-one years Nat Gould wrote and published over one hundred and thirty novels and stories. He died at Bedfont in 1919.

Nat Gould is, however, of importance even beyond his huge output of popular novels. Because his books were so widely read, his descriptions of Australian life, based on the eleven years that he spent in Australia, deeply etched themselves in the minds of his readers. Indeed it has been asserted that they were responsible for the impression of Australia held in other countries (1).

Although entries about him are included in reference books (2), and countless articles have appeared in the press, no full biography of Nat Gould has been written. To remedy that lack this website has been created.

References

(1) Australia Brought to Book: Responses to Australia by Visiting Writers 1836 - 1939 Kaye Harman (1985) page 11.
(2) The main reference books on Nat Gould are the Dictionary of National Biography, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the Australian Dictionary of Biography, and Who Was Who. The major source for any biography of Nat Gould is his autobiography The Magic of Sport : Mainly Autobiographical. Other autobiographical passages appear in his earlier books On and Off the Turf in Australia, Town and Bush: Stray Notes on Australia, and Sporting Sketches. An obituary in The Times was published on 26 July 1919.