Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
25,027 (25,157)521717 (3.89)680
Colleen McCullough was born on June 1, 1937 in Wellington, New South Wales, Australia. She attended Holy Cross College and the University of Sydney. She wanted to pursue a career in medicine but had an allergic reaction to the antiseptic soap that surgeons use to scrub. She decided to study neuroscience and established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney before working as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. Her first novel, Tim, was published in 1974 and was adapted into a movie starring Mel Gibson. During her lifetime, she wrote 25 novels including The Thorn Birds, An Indecent Obsession, A Creed for the Third Millennium, The Ladies of Missalonghi, the Masters of Rome series, and Bittersweet. The Thorn Birds was adapted into a U.S. television mini-series in 1983, which won four Golden Globe awards. She died after a long illness on January 29, 2015 at the age of 77. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from The Thorn Birds
… (more)
The Thorn Birds 6,894 copies, 135 reviews
The First Man in Rome 2,979 copies, 55 reviews
The Grass Crown 1,806 copies, 32 reviews
Caesar's Women 1,436 copies, 21 reviews
Fortune's Favorites 1,362 copies, 21 reviews
Caesar 1,330 copies, 24 reviews
The October Horse 1,233 copies, 23 reviews
Antony and Cleopatra 1,002 copies, 23 reviews
The Ladies of Missalonghi 903 copies, 27 reviews
Morgan's Run 899 copies, 19 reviews
The Touch 689 copies, 12 reviews
An Indecent Obsession 605 copies, 2 reviews
Tim 584 copies, 12 reviews
The Song of Troy 584 copies, 9 reviews
A Creed for the Third Millennium 503 copies, 7 reviews
On, Off 405 copies, 8 reviews
Bittersweet: A Novel 358 copies, 18 reviews
Angel Puss 229 copies, 8 reviews
Parallel deaths 214 copies, 10 reviews
Naked Cruelty 75 copies, 6 reviews
The Prodigal Son 68 copies, 4 reviews
Sins of the Flesh 55 copies, 2 reviews
Life without the boring bits 13 copies, 1 review
1996 6 copies
Tim 1 copy
20th century (77) ancient history (64) Ancient Rome (541) Australia (692) Australian (99) Australian author (73) Australian fiction (64) Australian literature (83) Caesar (99) Cleopatra (74) Colleen McCullough (109) ebook (104) family (72) family saga (74) fiction (3,032) hardcover (66) historical (574) historical fiction (2,275) historical novel (228) history (257) Italy (92) Julius Caesar (163) Kindle (81) literature (107) love (79) Masters of Rome (181) Masters of Rome Series (64) mystery (82) novel (441) own (127) read (262) Roman (190) Roman History (138) Roman Republic (104) romance (410) Rome (834) series (107) Sulla (72) to-read (1,010) unread (118)
No events listed. (add an event)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Cause of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
Colleen McCullough was born in Wellington, an outback town in Australia. Her family life was somewhat rough, her mother being rather aggressive toward her and burning any manuscripts of Colleen's she found. In adulthood, McCullough attempted to become a surgeon, but developed an allergic reaction to the surgical soap and switched to neuroscience. After several years working abroad, she received a position at the famed Yale University. It was during this time that she wrote Tim and her most famous novel, The Thorn Birds. Her success forced her to retire from teaching, and she eventually settled on the isolated Norfolk Island, where she lives with husband Ric Robinson, a descendant of the Bounty mutineers. 

In recent years, McCullough has completed numerous novels, including the controversial The Independence of Mis Mary Bennet, her Masters of Rome series, and several stand along works. She is a National Living Treasure of Australia and still uses a typewriter to complete her novels.
Disambiguation notice

Member ratings

Average: (3.89)
0.5 9
1 107
1.5 20
2 272
2.5 76
3 1054
3.5 255
4 1915
4.5 209
5 1546

Author pictures (3)


(see all 3 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Colleen McCullough is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Colleen McCullough is composed of 29 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 170,166,689 books! | Top bar: Always visible