(1848–97) was born Jessie Huybers at Highgate, London, the eldest daughter of an Anglo-French mother and a father of Dutch extraction, and came to Australia when her family migrated to Tasmania in the early 1850s. The opening sequence of Not Counting the Cost (1895) is evidently based on her childhood in and near Hobart. In 1867 she married Charles Fraser; they settled on the land in the Kyneton district in Victoria, but the marriage was a failure and after long periods of separation (Jessie spent much of 1873–83 in England and Europe) they were divorced in 1883. In 1880 she embarked on a series of very successful lectures on Australia, delivered initially to the Geographical Society in Paris and later in the French provinces, Holland and Belgium. Returning to Europe, Jessie married in 1885 Auguste Couvreur, a Belgian journalist and politician. She was thereafter based in Brussels, succeeding her husband as Brussels correspondent of the London Times after his death in 1894.
From The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature in Oxford Reference.