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My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
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My Brilliant Career (1901)

by Miles Franklin

Other authors: Henry Lawson (Preface)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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912259,640 (3.76)147
  1. 00
    Consequences by E. M. Delafield (souloftherose)
    souloftherose: Although the two books have a very different setting and style, they are both semi-autobiographical novels about a young woman struggling to cope with the restrictions placed on her by the society of the time. As a result, neither are easy or happy reads but both are compelling and very interesting.… (more)
  2. 00
    Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin may be paired with Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy or even Lilian's Story by Kate Grenville. All three novels have strong central female characters that all struggle with the expression of freedom.
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» See also 147 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
An Australian friend says this book is an Aussie version of Jane Austen I will have to concur because I haven't lived in Australia and she has. It is much grittier than Jane Austen's work though and I suspect Jane would have collapsed into a dead faint if she had been forced to governess the M'Swat children. I suspect that Sybylla and Susanna Moodie (who wrote Roughing it in the Bush about pioneering in Canada) would have had a lot in common though.

I was rather miffed with Sybylla though for not trying to help her family who desperately needed assistance. Being a governess to the M'Swats was forced upon her by her mother but she surely could have found another situation if she had really wanted to. And her treatment of Harry Beecham was quite awful. She agreed to become engaged and wear his ring and then she threw it in his face when he got angry with her for flirting and then she decided she would become secretly engaged but not marry until she was 21. Then when he lost his fortune she promised she would wait for him and it didn't matter that he was poor but when he regained his fortune she said she didn't want to marry him. No wonder Harry left Australia and went travelling over the world! It's a wonder he didn't take up strong drink and gambling as well.

However, it does have "loads of Australian scenery" and makes me long (again) to visit Australia even if it doesn't look the way Miles Franklin described it. Someday, I'll get there. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 9, 2017 |
My Brilliant Career is sort of what would happen if Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and the Australian outback and first-wave feminism had a baby.

Miles Franklin, though. Stella Marie Sarah Miles Franklin. She struggled for so long to get this book published - it was a success of sorts in the end, but she was so sick of it, she took it off the market and wanted it published again only after she died.

I wasn't ready to warm to this book - it's quite thick, and I had to read it for a course. But I loved it. It grew on me. Sybylla is a headstrong heroine who can be a little bit irritating, but after a while, I had only absolute affection towards her.

This book, written when Franklin was only a teenager, is a beautiful masterpiece. It's full of early feminist thought and ideas, and although I don't like all the parts of the book, together, as a whole, I love it.

I love the descriptions of the landscape, the stark sunrises, the ring-barked trees.

This book, in all its humble existence, is one of the unsung heroes of early Australian literature and feminism. I'll continue to be its champion till the day I die.

Doesn't matter if you don't love this book, Stella Marie Miles Franklin, because I do. ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
I don't understand this cover at all. The cover of my copy is apparently a movie still, with the girl looking pensive. And I don't know how to review this story. It did get easier to read as the girl matured, but I still don't agree with her final decision re marriage. It sure was interesting learning about old Australia, though. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
I had known about this book as an Australian classic for many years, and Miles Franklin is namesake of a literature prize, but have only know got around to reading it. I was not disappointed. It is the story of a teenaged girl growing up in rural Australia, and her changing fortunes. I think the mastery is in the descriptions, and the ability of the book to really conjure up a picture in the reader's mind of the places and situations. The main character is herself very entertaining and real as a person, and wrestles with her own frustration at her own nature (although at such a young age, manages to do a pretty good job of accepting this). Excellent! ( )
  kmstock | Apr 6, 2014 |
Not a book for romantics - nothing is romanticised, not the past, rural life, love or marriage. The protagonist is prickly and contrary and at times you want to slap her, but she sticks to her principles and I really liked her. ( )
  dylkit | Feb 3, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Miles Franklinprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lawson, HenryPrefacesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aiken, JoanIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Callil, CarmenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin was born on October 14 1879.

New introduction, by Carmen Callil, 1980.
A few months before I left Australia I got a letter from the bush signed "Miles Franklin", saying that the writer had written a novel, but knew nothing of editors and publishers, and asking me to read and advise.

Preface, by Henry Lawson, 1901.
Possum Gully, near Goulburn,
N.S. Wales, Australia, 1st March, 1899

MY DEAR FELLOW AUSTRALIANS,
Just a few lines to tell you that this story is all about myself - for no other purpose do I write it.

Introduction.
My dear fellow Australians, Just a few lines to tell you that this story is all about myself - for no other purpose do I write it.

Chapter one.
Quotations
A woman is but the helpless tool of man - a creature of circumstances.
Weariness! Weariness!
It is worth being poor once or twice in a lifetime just to experience the blessing and heartrestfulness of a little genuine reality in the way of love and friendship.
Grils! Girls! Those of you who have hearts, and therefore a wish for happiness, homes, and husbands by and by, never develop a reputation of being clever. It will put you out of the matrimonial running a effectually as though it had been circulated that you had leprosy.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
From the book cover:
"First published in 1901, this Australian classic recounts the live of 16-year-old Sybylla Melvyn. Trapped on her parents' outback farm, she simultaneously loves bush life and hates the physical burdens it imposes. For Sybylla longs for a more refined, aesthetic lifestyle - to read, to think, to sing - but most of all to do great things. Suddenly her life is transformed. Whisked away to live on her grandmother's gracious property, she falls under the eye of the rich and handsome Harry Beecham and soon she finds herself choosing between everything a conventional life offers and her own plans for a 'brilliant career'."

 This book is in public domain in the USA and the e-book is available free online. he same book there.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143105051, Paperback)

The fierce, irreverent novel of aspiration and rebellion that is both a cornerstone of Australian literature and a feminist classic

Miles Franklin began the candid, passionate, and contrary My Brilliant Career when she was only sixteen, intending it to be the Australian answer to Jane Eyre. But the book she produced-a thinly veiled autobiographical novel about a young girl hungering for life and love in the outback-so scandalized her country upon its appearance in 1901 that she insisted it not be published again until ten years after her death.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:51 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Aust'n. Classic fiction. Miles Franklin began the candid, passionate, and contrary My Brilliant Career when she was only sixteen, intending it to be the Australian answer to Jane Eyre. But the book she produced-a thinly veiled autobiographical novel about a young girl hungering for life and love in the outback-so scandalized her country upon its appearance in 1901 that she insisted it not be published again until ten years after her death.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0143105051, 1921922192

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