Lillian Maxwell Heath

Father: Robert Mosely Heath
Mother: Susannah Ellen Willson
Born: __/__/1881 #21320 Belf
Died: 31/08/1927 ?
Buried: __/__/____ Box Hill
Married: __/__/____ Richard Dimond Pyke
Children: ? Joyce Maxwell Pyke
25/04/1908 Phyllis Lillian Dimond Pyke
? Laurence Richard Dimond Pyke ('33 Rhodes scholar)

Lillian Pyke (nee Heath) was the authoress of a number of popular novels. The name Maxwell came from the minister who christened her. After matriculating at University High School, she taught at East Leigh, a private school in Prahran owned and run by the Misses Lang. She had possibly been a student there before going to University High School. She also did freelance journalism. At U.H.S. Laurence Arthur Adamson was headmaster and later he became the headmaster of Wesley College. It was he who suggested Lillian should write for a living after she became a widow. She lived at Seymour Grove, Brighton Beach.

Her books were as follows (some of the dates are uncertain, they're based on dates recorded in the State Library catalog).

1916	Max the sport (ill. J. Macfarlane)
1916,1938,1953,1960,1966	Australian Etiquette
1917	Jack of St. Virgil's (ill. J. Macfarlane)
1917	Miss Bobbie (by Ethel Turner, adapted for schools by Lillian)
1918	Phyl of the camp
1918	Bruce at Boonderong Camp
1919	A Prince at School
1919	Southern seas story book
191u	A Railway Book for Little Australians
1920	Cole's happy time picture and nursery rhyme book (ill. Percy Leason)
1921	Best school of all (ill. J. Macfarlane)
1921	Cole's happy time picture and nursery rhyme book. No. 2
1922	Sheila at Happy Hills (ill. J. Macfarlane)
1922	Saturday island
1923	Camp kiddies : a story of life on railway construction
1923	Sheila the prefect (ill. J Dewar Mills)
1924	Brothers of the fleet
1924	Harp of life
1924	Squirmy and Bubbles : a school story for girls (ill. Perce Clark)
1925	Lone guide of Merfield (ill. J Dewar Mills)
1925?	Clem (under pen-name Erica Maxwell)
1926	Three bachelor girls
1927	The Secret of Wallaby Rock
1928	Cole's holiday book for boys and girls
????	A Wife by Proxy (under pen-name Erica Maxwell, also in Esperanto)
The Oxford Companion to Australian Children's Stories says of Lillian's school stories that her "educational ideas... are notably enlightened and ahead of her time", and that her "novels about railway construction camps in Queensland are realistic insights into the life of construction workers and their families."

See the list of Lillian's books still available from the State Library of Victoria, and from The National Library of Australia (try also as Erica Maxwell).

Premonition. In "A Prince at School", Lester, the headmaster of Whitefield, is bequeathed the guardianship of two 'children' Lola, 20, and Arnold, 16, after their mother's death. Only eight years after the book was published, Lillian died aged 46, and the headmaster of Wesley, Lawrence's school, adopted him. Lawrence subsequently became a Rhodes scholar, majoring in Chemistry and (something else), and after study in England returned and became the headmaster of Newington College in Sydney.

Lillian is buried plot NS 273 in the Methodist section at Box Hill.