My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin Book Summary
An Apple Books Classic edition.
This Australian classic explores what happens when a young woman’s professional ambitions-to build a “brilliant career” as a writer-collide with cultural expectations regarding women’s roles in work and marriage. Author Miles Franklin was just 16 when she first started writing this novel, which was published in 1901.
The book's heroine, Sybylla Melvyn, comes of age in the 1890s in the Australian bush and helps support her family by working for a coarse and miserly neighbour. Franklin was bitterly disappointed by the popular belief that ;My Brilliant Career was autobiographical-and by the outraged reactions to the characters she depicts. She requested that the novel not be reprinted until 10 years after her death. An acclaimed 1979 movie adaptation helped revive interest in Franklin’s book, connecting it with a new and more receptive audience.
My Brilliant Career (Miles Franklin) Book Reviews
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My Brilliant CareerAn entertaining and revealing portrayal of 19Century life in country Australia. Revealing so many of the challenges that governed life decisions and yet maintaining a dry humour so delightful and so Austalian..04aGoodReadScore: 5/5
Long time no read3.5 stars Author Australian. Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, aka Miles Franklin (1879–1954). Writer and proto-feminist. Her will established the country's most prestigious literary annual prize for "a novel which is of the highest literary merit and presents Australian life in any of its phases," which was first awarded in 1957, three years after her demise. Since 2013, her memory has also been honoured in the form of the annual Stella Prize for best work of literature by an Australian woman. Franklin was a child of the 'squattocracy' in the Brindabella region of NSW, and is best known for 'My Brilliant Career,' written in the 1890s when she was just 16. The book was published in 1901 with help from Henry Lawson, but subsequently withdrawn from sale by the author until after her death because everyone kept telling her it was autobiographical. It's fair to say virtually all juvenilia of established writers, and non-established ones for that matter, at least partly autobiographical, but Miles F reckoned MBC wasn't, so there. The 1979 film version by Gillian Armstrong starred Judy Davis and Sam Neill. Plot Sybylla Melvyn is a headstrong teenager growing up in the 1890s a fictional rural Australia that bears a remarkable resemblance to Brindabella. She rides horses and cracks stock whips but aspires to be a writer. (Of course, it's not autobiographical). Drought ad poor business decisions by her old man result in a marked deterioration in her family circumstances. Syb's packed off to live with Grandma and Grandpa, whose circumstances are still pretty good. Wealthy young neighbour Harold Beecham is besotted and keeps asking her to marry him. Granny thinks it's a good idea because Syb's no oil painting, but she spurns Harry after a long distance engagement of three years, because she wants to be in charge of her own destiny and never marry, yada, yada. Bad move as it turns out because her old Dad farms her out as governess/housekeeper to some illiterate neighbours to settle a debt. Characters Sybylla, who is a tad erratic and none too loveable sometimes (a teenager in other words, although I don't think that was a thing in the 1890s), is the only one who is well fleshed out. Comparisons to Jane Eyre and Becky Sharp are inevitable and probably justified at times. Prince Harry is a nice guy but a bit of a wimp. Parents, grandparents and other hangers on are largely caricature. Narrative First person Prose Somewhat melodramatic plot. Accomplished writing, but immature compared to later efforts. Vivid descriptions of the Australian bush, which owe something to contemporaries like Lawson. Bottom line It's been nearly 50 years since I last read this book. It stood up well considering, and felt familiar, probably because it has been reworked in part so many times since. As for Syb, I'd add Anne of Green Gables to the list of comparators. If you want to read Ms Franklin at her best, try All That Swagger (1936)..RhitcScore: 4/5
Dazzling Piece of WorkOh this story is just so wonderful and yet I feel a little heavy in the heart that I have finished reading it. It is a 113 years old piece of Australian History and yet it is still to this day, vivid, intense and full of the vigour and turmoil which we are transported and exposed to by Sybylla, our story writer. She shows that behind every man that planted a field, raised sheep or cattle, there were stronger women keeping it all together raising children, tending to chores and farming just as the men folk. Loved it!.TamHolmesScore: 5/5
My Brilliant CareerExcellent novel she’s the Australian version of the Bronte sisters. The descriptions of life in the late 1800’s Australia mirror somewhat the Australia in 2020 but please don’t criticise these times as racist it’s our history & we need to accept that & move forward positively & progressively . Myles Franklin lives on with thanks.RW1955Score: 5/5
My brilliant careerI read this book because it was free and because i wanted to see why the name Miles Franklin is synonymous with literary accomplishment. I was very disappointed. It is a tale of woe told by a person who is the victim of her own ineptitude. The only redeeming features are well drawn characatures and windows into rural life in NSW in the late 1800's. When dealing with romance, the authoress appears to.Old Roan BoyScore: 1/5
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