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y separately published work icon Cynthia Nolan : A Biography single work   biography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Cynthia Nolan : A Biography
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'This biography studies the making of writer and artist's wife Cynthia Nolan, born Violet Cynthia Reed. She was almost forty when she married Sidney Nolan and consigned her past to obscurity. It tracks this brave, elusive figure through historical sources, letters, her novels, the recollections of friends and family, and the photographs and portraits made of her.

'After a privileged but constrained childhood, she travelled to Europe. Inspired by what she'd seen, she returned to Australia and, with a small circle of artists and designers, created a brief but influential business in contemporary art and design.

'In 1934 she moved to Sydney, hoping to find work as an actress. Disenchanted, Cynthia travelled to America, then London, to train as a nurse. Nurse Reed was in France when war was declared. She returned to Melbourne, pregnant, and stayed at Heide. She made a life for herself and her daughter, Mosca Jinx, in a cottage in Sydney, where she completed her much overlooked novels.

'Cynthia met Sidney through her sister-in-law, Sunday, who was married to John Reed. The women were close, but in 1941 Cynthia and Sunday had a falling out. Sidney came knocking on Cynthia's door in 1948. Once married, Sidney adopted Jinx, signalling his commitment to their family life.

'Cynthia had the requisite skills, experience and contacts to assist Sidney in his unprecedented success. From 1953, their home base was in Putney, London. Cynthia recorded their travels and preoccupations in four books, and also wrote a novel, A Bride for St Thomas, published in 1970. By this time she was frail, often in severe pain. In 1976, having confided in no-one, Cynthia died in a hotel room in London.

'In her letters and books we hear her distinctive and discriminating voice, despite the turmoil surrounding her at Heide. This book restores her rightful place in history, as an influential woman in her own right.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Melbourne Books , 2016 .
      image of person or book cover 40983058818356870.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 1vp.
      Note/s:
      • Published 1 October 2016
      ISBN: 9781922129963

Works about this Work

Sowing a Wind Jill Burton , 2017 single work essay review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , January-February no. 388 2017; (p. 25-26)

'When times were difficult, Cynthia Reed Nolan ‘drew the veil’. Born in Evandale in 1908, the youngest of six children, Cynthia always sought distance. From an early age, like siblings Margaret and John, she longed to escape from Tasmania. Oddly, however, this was not what John Reed expected of her. Such anomalies make this biography, which foregrounds her life before she became Cynthia Nolan, particularly interesting. Drawing on newly available correspondence, it portrays a sensitive, ironic woman previously overshadowed by more famous contemporaries.'

(Introduction)

In the Spotlight for Their Own Worth Fiona Capp , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Age , 3-4 December 2016; (p. 28)

— Review of Cynthia Nolan : A Biography M. E. McGuire , 2016 single work biography ; Dymphna Judith Armstrong , 2016 single work biography
In the Spotlight for Their Own Worth Fiona Capp , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Saturday Age , 3-4 December 2016; (p. 28)

— Review of Cynthia Nolan : A Biography M. E. McGuire , 2016 single work biography ; Dymphna Judith Armstrong , 2016 single work biography
Sowing a Wind Jill Burton , 2017 single work essay review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , January-February no. 388 2017; (p. 25-26)

'When times were difficult, Cynthia Reed Nolan ‘drew the veil’. Born in Evandale in 1908, the youngest of six children, Cynthia always sought distance. From an early age, like siblings Margaret and John, she longed to escape from Tasmania. Oddly, however, this was not what John Reed expected of her. Such anomalies make this biography, which foregrounds her life before she became Cynthia Nolan, particularly interesting. Drawing on newly available correspondence, it portrays a sensitive, ironic woman previously overshadowed by more famous contemporaries.'

(Introduction)

Last amended 19 Aug 2016 12:58:12
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