(Cross-posted with Blogger)
Today’s guest post is by historian Yvonne Perkins. Yvonne is a dedicated reviewer for the AWW challenge, mainly in the areas of history, memoir and biography. She has just published a review of Stella Miles Franklin: A Biography by Jill Roe. Here she introduces the work to AWW readers, lists reviews of Franklin’s work that have been written for the challenge so far, and suggests other titles which could be reviewed. Yvonne’s own review can be found on her website, Stumbling Through the Past.
Yvonne Perkins writes:
Jill Roe’s biography of Miles Franklin is an important book for Australian Women Writers Challenge. Miles Franklin is one of the most influential Australian female writers in our history, both through her own writing and her encouragement of Australian writers. Who was this person who is such an important part of our literary heritage? Roe’s life of Miles Franklin is an entree into the world of Australian literature of the first half of the twentieth century. My reading notes are dotted with “I must read xxx”.
Jill Roe has produced an excellent biography. She has skilfully managed the large volume of sources available to her and written a book which is enjoyable to read. Few would dare to undertake such a comprehensive biography; others would be swamped by the sources. Roe recognised that Miles Franklin was the kind of person who could sustain a lengthy biography. She was a complex person who sought out what life could offer.
I hope that my review of Stella Miles Franklin: A Biography will prompt others to read and review this book. In a little under 1500 words there was so much that my review didn’t address. Perhaps other reviewers could discuss Jill Roe’s treatment of Miles Franklin’s literary legacy or how gender issues affected Miles Franklin’s life. Diversity of opinion is an important part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I thought that this biography was well constructed – did you?
Some reviewers for the Challenge this year have already reviewed Miles Franklin’s novels (see below). I have mentioned some of her more well known published work in my review and there are others that may interest you.
The anniversary of the birth of Miles Franklin is on 14th October. Perhaps reviewers could mark this date by publishing a review of her biography or her published work?
Stella Miles Franklin: A Biography was published in 2008, so some of the Australian Women Writers Challenge reviewers may have already reviewed this book prior to 2012. If so, could you please add a link to your review in the comments below.
AWW2012 Reviews of Miles Franklin’s Writing
- My Brilliant Career: Reviewed by Jessie, Lucy Graham.
- My Career Goes Bung: Reviewed by David Goldman.
Some Other Miles Franklin Books
In addition to the books above you may wish to review:
- Franklin’s books published under the pseudonym Brent of Bin Bin:
- Up the Country: A Tale of the Early Australian Squattocracy;
- Ten Creeks Run: A Tale of the Horse and Cattle Stations of the Upper Murrumbidgee;
- Back to Bool Bool: A Ramiparous Novel with Several Prominent Characters and a Hantle of Others Disposed as the Atolls of Oceania’s Archipelagoes;
- Prelude to Waking: A Novel in the First Person and Parentheses;
- Cockatoos: A Story of Youth and Exodists;
- Gentlemen at Gyang Gyang: A Tale of the Jumbuck Pads on the Summer Runs
- All that Swagger
- Written with Kate Baker – Joseph Furphy: The Legend of a Man and his Book
- Laughter, Not for a Cage: Notes on Australian Writing, with Biographical Emphasis on the Struggles, Function, and Achievements of the Novel in Three Half-centuries
- Childhood at Brindabella: My First Ten Years
- On Dearborn Street
Read Yvonne’s review of Jill Roe’s biography of Stella Miles Franklin here.
About: Since completing her degree in history at the University of Sydney Yvonne Perkins has worked on a number of historical research projects, most recently an investigation of the history of teaching reading in Australia. Currently she is researching the beliefs, religious or otherwise, of soldiers who served in World War I.
In her spare time Yvonne explores issues in history on her blog, Stumbling Through the Past. She is passionate about promoting the excellent work produced by Australian historians which is influencing people around the world.