Colleen McCullough

1937 - 2015

Photo of Colleen McCullough

Icon of person Colleen McCullough

Colleen Margaretta McCullough (; married name Robinson, previously Ion-Robinson; 1 June 1937 – 29 January 2015) was an Australian author known for her novels, her most well-known being The Thorn Birds and The Ladies of Missalonghi. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Colleen McCullough has received more than 767,275 page views. Her biography is available in 48 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 45 in 2019). Colleen McCullough is the 798th most popular writer (down from 759th in 2019), the 22nd most popular biography from Australia (down from 17th in 2019) and the most popular Australian Writer.

Colleen McCullough is most famous for her book The Thorn Birds, which was published in 1977.

Memorability Metrics

  • 770k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 63.42

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 48

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 7.29

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 3.23

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

Notable Works

The Thorn Birds
Fiction / Romance / Historical / General, Fiction / Historical
<p> Now, 25 years after it first took the world by storm, Colleen McCullough's sweeping family saga of dreams, titanic struggles, dark passions, and forbidden love in the Australian Outback returns to enthrall a new generation. As powerful, moving, and unforgettable as when it originally appeared, it remains a monumental literary achievement—a landmark novel to be read . . . and read again! </p>
The ladies of Missalonghi
A highly intelligent, lonely, middle-aged spinster finds pure and innocent love in the arms of a simple-minded, young laborer
The touch
Not since The Thorn Birds has Colleen McCullough written a novel of such broad appeal about a family and the Australian experience as The Touch. At its center is Alexander Kinross, remembered as a young man in his native Scotland only as a shiftless boilermaker's apprentice and a godless rebel. But when, years later, he writes from Australia to summon his bride, his Scottish relatives quickly realize that he has made a fortune in the gold fields and is now a man to be reckoned with. Arriving in Sydney after a difficult voyage, the sixteen-year-old Elizabeth Drummond meets her husband-to-be and discovers to her dismay that he frightens and repels her. Offered no choice, she marries him and is whisked at once across a wild, uninhabited countryside to Alexander's own town, named Kinross after himself. In the crags above it lies the world's richest gold mine. Isolated in Alexander's great house, with no company save Chinese servants, Elizabeth finds that the intimacies of marriage do not prompt her husband to enlighten her about his past life -- or even his present one. She has no idea that he still has a mistress, the sensual, tough, outspoken Ruby Costevan, whom Alexander has established in his town, nor that he has also made Ruby a partner in his company, rapidly expanding its interests far beyond gold. Ruby has a son, Lee, whose father is the head of the beleaguered Chinese community; the boy becomes dear to Alexander, who fosters his education as a gentleman. Captured by the very different natures of Elizabeth and Ruby, Alexander resolves to have both of them. Why should he not? He has the fabled "Midas Touch" -- a combination of curiosity, boldness and intelligence that he applies to every situation, and which fails him only when it comes to these two women. Although Ruby loves Alexander desperately, Elizabeth does not. Elizabeth bears him two daughters: the brilliant Nell, so much like her father; and the beautiful, haunting Anna, who is to present her father with a torment out of which for once he cannot buy his way. Thwarted in his desire for a son, Alexander turns to Ruby's boy as a possible heir to his empire, unaware that by keeping Lee with him, he is courting disaster. The stories of the lives of Alexander, Elizabeth and Ruby are intermingled with those of a rich cast of characters, and, after many twists and turns, come to a stunning and shocking climax. Like The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough's new novel is at once a love story and a family saga, replete with tragedy, pathos, history and passion. As few other novelists can, she conveys a sense of place: the desperate need of her characters, men and women, rootless in a strange land, to create new beginnings.
The grass crown
An indecent obsession
At the end of World War II, decorated sergeant Michael Wilson enters the mental war of a Pacific military hospital, which contains five remaining patients united by their devotion to their nurse, Honour Langtry
Fiction, historical, Fiction, History
The Touch
Rich people, Social life and customs, Married people
Australia, finales del siglo XIX. Alexander Kinross - un escocés que ha enterrado sus humildes orígenes tras amasar una enorme fortuna en Estados Unidos y Australia- pide la mao de la joven Elizabeth Drummond. Con apenas dieciséis años, ésta se ve obligada a dejar su Escocia natal para casarse con un completo desconocido. Ni la brillantez,k ni el dinero o la insistencia de Kinross logran que la muchacha sea feliz en su matrimonio.
An Indecent Obsession
Psychiatric nursing, Military psychiatry, Fiction
To the battle-broken soldiers in her care, nurse Honour Langtry is a precious, adored reminder of the world before war. Then Michael Wilson arrives under a cloud of mystery and shame to change everything. A damaged and decorated hero, a man of secrets and silent pain, soon he alone possesses Honour's selfless heart-inciting tense and volatile passions that can only lead to lealousy, violence, and death.
The Thorn Birds
Fiction, Clergy, Catholic Church
The Thorn Birds is a 1977 best-selling novel by Australian author Colleen McCullough. Set primarily on Drogheda – a fictional sheep station in the Australian Outback named after Drogheda, Ireland – the story focuses on the Cleary family and spans the years 1915 to 1969.
The Ladies of Missalonghi
Women, Fiction, Large type books
Missy Wright's mother has been shunned by her family since marrying for love, not money. Now widowed, the women live a quiet existence in genteel poverty. Plain, thin and unforgivably single, it seems Missy's life is destined to be dreary. But then a stranger opens Missy's eyes to the possibility of a happy ending.
Fiction, People with mental disabilities, Fiction in English


Among writers, Colleen McCullough ranks 798 out of 7,302Before her are Leon Uris, Georges Bernanos, Marie d'Agoult, Alexander Litvinenko, Cesare Pavese, and Ibycus. After her are Dio Chrysostom, Maya Angelou, Pietro Bembo, Jamal Khashoggi, Sarojini Naidu, and Tatian.

Most Popular Writers in Wikipedia

Go to all Rankings


Among people born in 1937, Colleen McCullough ranks 44Before her are Sajida Talfah, Avram Hershko, Philip Glass, Juvénal Habyarimana, Claude Lelouch, and Jacques Santer. After her are Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, Angelo Badalamenti, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Roger Zelazny, Robert Huber, and Andrei Konchalovsky. Among people deceased in 2015, Colleen McCullough ranks 43Before her are Boris Nemtsov, Yoichiro Nambu, Alcides Ghiggia, Wes Craven, Yevgeny Primakov, and Günter Schabowski. After her are James Last, Faten Hamama, Frei Otto, René Girard, James Horner, and Fatema Mernissi.

Others Born in 1937

Go to all Rankings

Others Deceased in 2015

Go to all Rankings

In Australia

Among people born in Australia, Colleen McCullough ranks 22 out of 1,143Before her are Paul Hogan (1939), Julian Assange (1971), Elizabeth Blackburn (1948), Jack Brabham (1926), Peter Weir (1944), and Errol Flynn (1909). After her are Hugh Jackman (1968), John Eccles (1903), V. Gordon Childe (1892), Robin Warren (1937), Peter Singer (1946), and Macfarlane Burnet (1899).

Among WRITERS In Australia

Among writers born in Australia, Colleen McCullough ranks 1After her are P. L. Travers (1899), James Clavell (1921), Rhonda Byrne (1945), Thomas Keneally (1935), Annette Kellermann (1887), Elizabeth von Arnim (1866), Morris West (1916), James Aldridge (1918), Germaine Greer (1939), Banjo Paterson (1864), and John Flanagan (1944).