Catherine Helen Spence (1825-1910) was an Australian author, teacher, journalist, politician and leading suffragette. In 1897 she became Australia's first female political candidate after standing (unsuccessfully) for the Federal Convention held in Adelaide. Known as the "Greatest Australian Woman" and given the epitaph "Grand Old Woman of Australasia", Spence is commemorated on the Australian 5 dollar note issued for the Centenary of Federation. Spence had a talent for writing and an urge to be read, so it was natural that in her teens she became attracted to journalism through family connections, beginning at first with short pieces and poetry published in The South Australian. She also worked as a governess for some of the leading families in Adelaide at the rate of sixpence an hour.
Her first major work was the novel Clara Morison: A Tale of South Australia During the Gold Fever (1854).
Her second novel Tender and True was published in 1856 and to her delight went through a second and third printing, though she never received a penny more than the initial twenty pounds.