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My Brilliant Career

Miles Franklin

Book Overview: 

Sybella “There is no plot in this story, because there has been none in my life or in any other life which has come under my notice. I am one of a class, the individuals of which have no time for plots in their life, but have all they can do to get their work done without indulging in such a luxury”.
Like the author Miles Franklin, Sybella grows up in the bush, and as her family’s fortunes decline, so her feelings rise that life should hold more for her than the relentless hard physical work farming marginal land in times of drought.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .It sank into my heart and cut like a cruel jagged knife—not because it would be a drawback to me in the marriage line, for I had an antipathy to the very thought of marriage. Marriage to me appeared the most horribly tied-down and unfair-to-women existence going. It would be from fair to middling if there was love; but I laughed at the idea of love, and determined never, never, never to marry.

The other side of the letter—the part which gave me joy—was the prospect of going to Caddagat.

Caddagat, the place where I was born! Caddagat, whereat, enfolded in grandmotherly love and the petting which accrued therefrom, I spent some of my few sweet childish days. Caddagat, the place my heart fondly enshrines as home. Caddagat, draped by nature in a dream of beauty. Caddagat, Caddagat! Caddagat for me, Caddagat for ever! I say.

Too engrossed with my thoughts to feel the cold of the dull winter day,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

3.5★s

Sybylla Melvyn was the eldest of her siblings and living in poverty with her parents in rural NSW in the late 1800s. She fought with her mother constantly, was wilful and headstrong and after being told by her mother continually that she was ugly and useless, Sybylla believed it all. The day...more

In 1901 a remarkable heroine made her debut, in a book that purports to be her autobiography.

If you took equal amounts of Becky Sharp, Cassandra Mortmain and Angel Devereaux, if you mixed them together, with verve and brio, and you might achieve a similar result, but you wouldn’t quite get there,...more

Miles Franklin - Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin - is probably Australia's most revered female writer. "My Brilliant Career" is her very first book, published in 1901 when she was barely 21. It was hugely successful, but she eventually withdrew it from publication until after her death, because...more

Hmm, I've always said that Jane Eyre is without a doubt my #1 favorite book. After today, this is in close running for the spot. So much to think about. Sigh. I hope my review (to come later) will do this book justice.

Henry Lawson famously avoided making an opinion on the ‘girlishly emotional’ parts of this book, so this ‘girl reader’ is going out on a limb to say that it is precisely those parts that make this book worth reading. In refusing to give us a romantic heroine who plays by the rules of the genre, M...more

About a year ago I realised, with the exception of Nick Cave, I'd never actually read any books by Australian authors and that I should probably fix that. I throughly enjoyed this book. I couldn't quite believe it was written by a 16 year old. It was sort of the anti-Little House on the Praire. H...more

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book.

For its time, and the fact that it was written by Franklin when she was a teenager (!), it is a brilliant novel. The writing ability that Franklin had so young is amazing - she manages to capture so much of Australia, and her protagonist, Sy...more

“life itself is anything beyond a heartless little chimera- it is as real in its weariness and bitter heartache”

I read this book for university and at first, I wasn't that into it but it grew on me a lot as it went on, and I particularly enjoyed the middle section. This is Jane Eyre meets Prid...more

Sybylla is headstrong, feisty, opinionated and independent. At the start of the book she is a teenager growing up in rural Australia in the 1890s in a very poor household with an alcoholic father and a mother who has come from money and is now living in poverty.
To Sybylla's relief, her much wealt...more

About time this ‘Aussie girl’ read this book, written by a fellow ‘Aussie girl’. Miles Franklin the iconic Australian author, has penned this classic, written when she was barely an adult herself. She was a woman born of another era. Her times were meant to be spent, toiling the land (or should I...more

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