3431783722816103070.jpg
Cover image from first edition.
y My Brilliant Career single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1901 1901
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

My Brilliant Career was written by Stella Franklin (1879-1954) when she was just nineteen years old. The novel struggled to find an Australian publisher, but was published in London and Edinburgh in 1901 after receiving an endorsement from Henry Lawson. Although Franklin wrote under the pseudonym 'Miles Franklin', Lawson’s preface makes it clear that Franklin is, as Lawson puts it 'a girl.'

The novel relates the story of Sybylla Melvyn, a strong-willed young woman of the 1890s growing up in the Goulburn area of New South Wales and longing to be a writer.

Adaptations

form y My Brilliant Career Eleanor Witcombe , Adelaide : Margaret Fink Productions , 1979 Z817179 1979 single work film/TV (taught in 7 units)

Based on the book by Miles Franklin, this feature film tells the story of an Australian country girl who, at the end of the nineteenth century, wants to make her own way in the outside world.

Rejecting an offer of marriage from a wealthy suitor (who is also her childhood friend), she instead finds herself obligated to work off her father's debt to a neighbouring family, for whom she works as governess and housekeeper. Returning home, she again rejects her suitor's proposal, this time in favour of writing a novel based on her experiences.

Notes

  • My Career Goes Bung is the sequel to My Brilliant Career.
  • Other formats: Available in sound recording, braille and large print formats. Brodie's Notes are also available.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2012 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
My Brilliant Career : Introduction, Jennifer Byrne , 1901-2012 single work criticism

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Edinburgh,
      c
      Scotland,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      William Blackwood , 1901 .
      3778863790135569175.jpg
      Source: Miles Franklin Literary Award website
      Extent: viii, 319p.p.
      Reprinted: 1902 , 1903 , 1904
      Note/s:
      • Preface by Henry Lawson.
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Angus and Robertson , 1974 .
      Extent: x, 232p.p.
      Note/s:
      • With a Preface by Henry Lawson.
      • Part of the A & R classics series.
      ISBN: 0207128812 (pbk), 0207128715
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Angus and Robertson , 1979 .
      Extent: 229p.
      Edition info: Arkon paperbacks
      Note/s:
      • With a preface by Henry Lawson.
      ISBN: 0207142424 (pbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Virago , 1980 .
      6403213446372640329.jpg
      Source: Good Reads
      Extent: 232p.
      Reprinted: 1983
      Note/s:
      • Virago Modern Classics series.
      • With a new introduction by Carmel Callil.
      ISBN: 0860681939 (pbk)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      St. Martin's Press , ca. 1980 .
      7755301318310834567.jpg
      Source: Bibliopolis
      Extent: x, 232p.p.
      Note/s:
      • With a new introduction by Carmel Callil.
      ISBN: 0312555997
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Angus and Robertson , 1980 .
      Extent: 253p.
      Description: illus.
      Note/s:
      • Includes the film costume and set designs by Luciana Arrighi; additional decoration by Roger Janovsky.
      ISBN: 0207142521
    • Toronto, Ontario,
      c
      Canada,
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Lester and Orpen Dennys , 1981 .
      3683788706378844935.jpg
      Source: Open Library
      Extent: 232p.
      Note/s:
      • With a new introduction by Carmen Callil.
      ISBN: 0919630197
    • Cape Town,
      c
      South Africa,
      c
      Southern Africa, Africa,
      :
      David Philp , 1982 .
      Extent: 274p.
      Edition info: South African educational edition, with commentaries by Susan Gardner.
      Description: illus.
      ISBN: 0908396775
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Folio Society , 1983 .
      Extent: 255p.
      Description: illus.
      Note/s:
      • With an introduction by Joan Aiken and drawings by Dodie Masterman.
    • Kensington, Randwick area, Sydney Eastern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Times House , 1984 .
      Extent: x, 232p.p.
      ISBN: 0858356937
  • Appears in:
    y Great Australian Writers : Miles Franklin, Henry Handel Richardson, Mrs Aeneas Gunn, Ruth Park Miles Franklin , Henry Handel Richardson , Mrs Aeneas Gunn , Ruth Park , London : Heinemann , 1987 Z1335920 1987 selected work novel London : Heinemann , 1987 pg. 11-190
    • North Ryde, Ryde - Gladesville - Hunters Hill area, Northwest Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,: Eden Paperbacks , 1987 .
      Extent: 232p.
      Reprinted: 1990
      ISBN: 0207158185
      Series: Eden Paperbacks Angus and Robertson (publisher), 1987 series - publisher This paperback imprint of Angus and Robertson was launched in September 1987. The first titles included Upfield's Winds of Evil and Derryn Hinch's Death at Newport.
    • Harlow, Essex,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Longman , 1989 .
      Extent: xxxvi, 302p.p.
      ISBN: 0582017297 (pbk)
  • Appears in:
    y My Brilliant Career [and] My Career Goes Bung Miles Franklin , North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1990 Z407359 1990 selected work novel (taught in 7 units) North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1990 pg. 3-258
    • Pymble, Turramurra - Pymble - St Ives area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: HarperCollins , 2001 .
      Extent: xv, 259p.p.
      Edition info: A&R Classics
      ISBN: 0207197245 (pbk), 0207197407 (pbk)
    • Link: Full text document This is an etext of the work produced for Project Gutenberg in plain text. See copyright information on site for any usage restrictions.
      Note/s:
      • Etext of the 1901 edition, with preface by Henry Lawson.
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin USA , 2007 .
      2011592658232439097.jpg
      Source: Good Reads
      Extent: xxvii, 253 p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Sandra M. Gilbert.
      • Bibliography: p. [xxiii]-xxvii.
      ISBN: 9780143105053 (pbk.)
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2012 .
      6912719508717683011.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 1v.p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduced by Jennifer Byrne. Introduction indexed separately.
      • Publication date: 26 April 2012.
      ISBN: 9781921922190 (pbk.)
      Series: y Text Classics Text Publishing (publisher), Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012- Z1851461 2012 series - publisher novel 'Great books by great Australian storytellers.' (Text website.)
Alternative title: Waga seishun no kagayaki
Alternative title: わが青春の輝き
Language: Japanese
    • Tokyo, Honshu,
      c
      Japan,
      c
      East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
      :
      Sanrio , 1981 .
      Extent: 322p.
      Description: illus.

Works about this Work

Straight to the Pool Room: Top 10 Films about the Australian Dream Luke Buckmaster , single work column
Hero and Tragedy : An Analysis of Sybylla Melvyn in My Brilliant Career Li Fangtao , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: 澳大利亚文化研究 , June vol. 1 no. 2 2016; (p. 45-57)

'My Brilliant Career, published in 1901, is the first and also the most influential work of Australian writer Miles Franklin (1879—1954). It depicts a “new woman image” which represents an ambitious, imaginative, rebellious bush girl and genuinely reflects the late 19th century Australia. She rebels and fights but fails to get out of the colonial women’s miserable life without any patriarchal persecution. She is reproached and excluded by public. She is left lonely and helpless and is nearly on her breakdown. She is a brave warrior of feminism, but still another tragic character of patriarchy.'

Source: Abstract.

26 Aussie Books You Must Read Blanche Clark , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 24 January 2015; (p. 18-19)
'With Australia Day upons us...26 great Australian Books that have helped shape and define our nation...'
To Kill a Mockingbird, My Brilliant Career and Long-Lost ‘Sequels’ Michelle Smith , 2015 single work essay
— Appears in: The Conversation , 9 February 2015;
Books That Changed Me : Josephine Moon Josephine Moon , 2014 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 1 June 2014; (p. 16)
A Courageous Woman Warrior : An Analysis of Sybylla Melvyn Bai Manman , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Oceanic Literary Studies , December no. 1 2014; (p. 239-249)
Books that Changed Me : Rachael Treasure Rachael Treasure , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 17 February 2013; (p. 14) The Sunday Age , 17 February 2013; (p. 14)
My Brilliant Career Susan K. Martin , 2013 single work essay
— Appears in: Reading Australia 2013;

This essay, an introduction to My Brilliant Career, was written for the Reading Australia project. It discusses the continuing relevance of the novel, and its representations of romance, a kind of 'anti-romance,' and reading. It also discusses the novel's depiction of bush life and drought.

Britishness and Australian Popular Fiction : From the Mid-Nineteenth to the Mid-Twentieth Centuries Hsu-Ming Teo , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sold by the Millions : Australia's Bestsellers 2012; (p. 46-66)
'The analysis offered here is [...], a panoptic perspective of the tangled skeins of literary imagination and imitation, gender and genre requirements, editorial control, market considerations and the sheer economics of the international book trade that knotted Australian popular literature into the cultural and economic fabric of the British empire.' (47)
Mentioning the War Cassandra Atherton , 2012 single work essay
— Appears in: Griffith Review , Winter no. 36 2012; (p. 183-192)
Word on the Street 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 13 May 2012; (p. 17)
Spanning Three Phases of Women’s Literature—Comments on My Brilliant Career Zhang Xiuqing , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies in China: Research on Australia by Chinese Scholars 2012;
'Based on the theory of American feminist critic Elaine Showalter this paper analyzes a peculiar feature of the early Australian novel My Brilliant Career and discovers that it spans three phases of Women ’s Literature. Through her indefatigable striving for equality between men and women, independent personality and self-fulfillment, the bush girl Sybylla in the novel set a brilliant example for today’s women.' (Publication abstract)
Untitled Yoshua Wakeham , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 28)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel
Stella vs Miles : Women Writers and Literary Value in Australia Julieanne Lamond , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , Spring vol. 70 no. 3 2011; (p. 32-39)

'Stella Miles Franklin did not want readers of her novel My Brilliant Career to assume that its author was a woman. She wrote to its publishers, asking for the 'Miss' to be removed: she intended readers to believe it to be written by 'a bald-headed seer of the sterner sex'. When Henry Lawson first read it he was flummoxed by the gender of the author. He wrote to Franklin, asking her: 'Will you write and tell me what your really are? Man or woman?' This confusion is nowhere apparent in the preface he wrote for the novel's publication in 1901...' (Introduction, p 32)

A "Close-Cropped Scribess" : Agnes Murphy as Gossip Columnist, New Woman (Lesbian?) Novelist, Opera Entrepreneur and Militant Suffragette Lucy Sussex , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 71 no. 1 2011; (p. 127-142)

'At the turn of the last century, Australian literary and artistic hopefuls looked to London to further their careers, make good in the centre of the British Empire. Did they not have the example of Melba, the girl from the colonies who had become a diva, the most famous Australian in the world? A whole host of talents took the steamships north, actors, journalists, singers and famously Henry Lawson, for whom the trip proved a personal and artistic disaster.' (Author's introduction, p. 127)

Reading in Colonial Australia : The 2011 John Alexander Ferguson Memorial Lecture Elizabeth Webby , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society , December vol. 97 no. 2 2011; (p. 119-135)
Elizabeth Webby looks at reading in the first decades after settlement in Australia as well as 'worries about the reading of fiction, reading of newspapers and periodicals, and the practice of reading aloud.' (p. 120)
Book Versus Film : My Brilliant Career Lucy Sussex , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 4 July 2010; (p. 20)
The Danger of Copyleft Zoe Rodriguez , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , August vol. 33 no. 2010;
Louise Mack and Colonial Pseudo-Literature Ken Gelder , Rachael Weaver , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 70 no. 2 2010; (p. 82-95)
Spaces of Hybridity : Creating a Sense of Belonging through Spatial Awareness Lesley Hawkes , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature 2010; (p. 93-107)
Untitled Freda Barrymore , 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The North Queensland Register , 21 June 1930; (p. 35)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel ; Ten Creeks Run : A Tale of the Horse and Cattle Stations of the Murrumbidgee Brent of Bin Bin 1930 single work novel
Untitled Yoshua Wakeham , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 28)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel
Untitled Maurice Dunlevy , 1966 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 26 March 1966; (p. 13)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel ; Bush Studies Barbara Baynton 1902 selected work short story
The Backward Glance Brian Elliott , 1966 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May vol. 5 no. 7 1966; (p. 134-135)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel ; The Pea Pickers Eve Langley 1942 single work novel ; The Long Prospect Elizabeth Harrower 1958 single work novel ; Bush Studies Barbara Baynton 1902 selected work short story
Untitled Grahame Johnston , 1966 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 7 May 1966; (p. 9)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel ; Literary Australia 1966 anthology criticism ; Bush Studies Barbara Baynton 1902 selected work short story
The Books That Made Us 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 19-20 August 1995; (p. rev 1-2)

— Review of My Brother Jack : A Novel George Johnston 1964 single work novel ; The Lucky Country Donald Horne 1964 single work non-fiction ; Joe Wilson and His Mates Henry Lawson 1901 selected work short story ; My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel ; Monkey Grip Helen Garner 1977 single work novel ; Voss : A Novel Patrick White 1957 single work novel ; The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
Untitled 1901 single work review
— Appears in: The Book Lover , November vol. 3 no. 31 1901; (p. 122-123)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel
Untitled 1901 single work review
— Appears in: The Book Lover , December vol. 3 no. 32 1901; (p. 133)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel
Untitled Helen MacGregor , 1966 single work review
— Appears in: Books and Bookmen , vol. 11 no. 12 1966; (p. 32)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel
Untitled A. A. Phillips , 1966 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 13 August 1966; (p. 24)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel
Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman Verna Coleman , 1979 single work review
— Appears in: Quadrant , October vol. 23 no. 10 1979; (p. 67-69)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel ; Childhood at Brindabella : My First Ten Years Miles Franklin 1962 single work autobiography
Untitled C. Moorehead , 1981 single work review
— Appears in: The Spectator , 20 June 1981; (p. 24-25)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel ; My Career Goes Bung : Purporting to be the Autobiography of Sybylla Penelope Melvyn Miles Franklin 1946 single work novel
Untitled P. Rose , 1981 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times , 4 January 1981; (p. 8)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel
see also Letter Paulette Rose , 1981 single work review
— Appears in: The New York Times Book Review , 15 February 1981; (p. 37)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel
Untitled 1902 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Woman's Sphere , 10 February 1902; (p. 142)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel
'Classic' Reissues Elizabeth Webby , 2001 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , July no. 232 2001; (p. 44-45)

— Review of Henry Lawson : Selected Stories Henry Lawson 2001 selected work short story ; Wild Cat Falling Colin Johnson 1965 single work novel ; The Pea Pickers Eve Langley 1942 single work novel ; Ride on Stranger Kylie Tennant 1943 single work novel ; Come in Spinner Florence James Dymphna Cusack 1951 single work novel ; My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel ; The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith Thomas Keneally 1972 single work novel ; Clean Straw for Nothing [and] A Cartload of Clay George Johnston 1989 selected work novel
Some Stories 1901 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28 September 1901; (p. 4)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel

This review of My Brilliant Career describes the work as 'a creditable essay in prose fiction by a young Australian girl' and discusses the unpleasantness of the main character.

My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin Joanne Peulen , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Booklover Book Reviews 2010;

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel
The New Woman in the New World : Evelyn Dickinson and a New Type of Australian Heroine Gillian Sykes , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies , Summer vol. 16 no. 1 2001; (p. 1-21)
Miles Franklin: The Outside Track Anna Rutherford , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Multiple Worlds, Multiple Words : Essays in Honour of Irene Simon 1988; (p. 239-256) Breaking Circles 1991; (p. 118-143)
The Olive Schreiner of Australian Literature Nettie Palmer , 1932 single work criticism
— Appears in: Illustrated Tasmanian Mail , 16 June 1932; Nettie Palmer : Her Private Journal Fourteen Years, Poems, Reviews and Literary Essays 1988; (p. 419-422)
A Comet of Wonder Fallen to Earth: The Diaries of Miles Franklin Paul Brunton , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 255 2003; (p. 35-40)
Images of Woman in Miles Franklin's My Brilliant Career and Alice Munro's Who Do You Think You Are? N. E. Pavithra , 1994-1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Commonwealth Review , vol. 6 no. 2 1994-1995; (p. 79-84)
Miles Franklin's My Brilliant Career : A Feminist Perspective Madhuri Chatterjee , 1995-1996 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Commonwealth Review , vol. 7 no. 1 1995-1996; (p. 97-100)
y The Diaries of Miles Franklin Miles Franklin , Paul Brunton (editor), Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2004 Z1101267 2004 selected work diary
Miles of Talent Angela Bennie , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 28-29 February 2004; (p. 2-3)
Her Stellar Career Sonya Hartnett , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 23 March vol. 122 no. 6413 2004; (p. 76-77)
Hartnett contemplates a likely publication scenario were Franklin to present her novel, My Brilliant Career, to a publisher in the early 21st century. Hartnett suspects the book would be marketed, to its detriment, as a young adult novel.
Introduction Elizabeth Webby , 1990-2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: My Brilliant Career [and] My Career Goes Bung 2004; (p. v-xviii)
Colonial Displacements : My Brilliant Career, A Comedy in Spasms and The Penance of Portia James Tanya Dalziell , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Settler Romances and the Australian Girl 2004; (p. 106-131, notes 156-158)
Miles Franklin's Brilliance Still Burning Brightly Gillian Lord , 2005 single work biography
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 16 April 2005; (p. 8-9)
Gillian Lord discusses Miles Franklin's literary career with Paul Brunton, senior curator at the Mitchell Library. Brunton was the curator for the State Library of New South Wales travelling exhibition, Miles Franklin: A Brilliant Career?
Brilliance Book-Ends Miles' Literary Career Catherine Naylor , 2005 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 April 2005; (p. 9)
Miles Franklin thought her literary career was a failure and she was plagued by self-doubt.
Miles Franklin - Dreamy Insurgent Carmel Kelly , 1973 single work biography
— Appears in: Tabloid Story , no. 4 1973; (p. 18)
Discrimination and Distortion : The Chinese in Early Australian Literature 黄源深 , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: A Unique Literature : A Critical View of Australian Literary Works 1995; (p. 206-217)
A Girl of Independence : The Heroine of My Brilliant Career 黄源深 , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: A Unique Literature : A Critical View of Australian Literary Works 1995; (p. 35-45)
y Australia: Human & Economic A. W. Jose , London Bombay Sydney : Harrap , 1932 Z1291638 1932 single work criticism
The Henry Lawson Memorial and Literary Society of Footscray [Meeting Report] J. C. Davies , 1936 single work column
— Appears in: All About Books , 12 November vol. 8 no. 11 1936; (p. 180)
Report of the 21 October meeting where members stood for a moment's silence in memory of Coulson and 'Mr. Darcy'. Includes announcement of the imminent publication of Harrington's work, the progress of Baker's bronze relief fund, and a synopsis of Mr. J. McKellar's address on Lawson's prose.
The Irresistible Desire for Self Assertion in Miles Franklin and Arundhati Roy Meenakshi Raman , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Caring Cultures : Sharing Imaginations : Australia and India 2006; (p. 59-70)
Raman compares the work of Miles Franklin to that of Arundhati Roy, in terms of the authors' urge for self-assertion.
Colonial Displacements : Another Look at Miles Franklin's My Brilliant Career Tanya Dalziell , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Ariel , July-October vol. 35 no. 3-4 2004; (p. 39-57)
Last amended 17 Jun 2014 12:11:27
Subjects:
  • Monaro, Cooma area, Cooma - Snowy - Bombala area, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales,
  • Goulburn, Goulburn area, Southern Highlands - Southern Tablelands, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales,
Settings:
  • Goulburn, Goulburn area, Southern Highlands - Southern Tablelands, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales,
  • 1890s
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