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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Narrated in folksy cadences by 16-year-old heroine Sybylla, My Brilliant Career was written partly as an Australian answer to Jane Eyre—when the author was still a teenager herself. Sybylla yearns to escape the confines of impoverished bush life and an unravelling father, but even the entrance of a romantic suitor doesn’t magically solve her problems. Originally published in 1901, this enduring classic of Aussie literature remains a potent portrait of country life that doesn’t gloss over indecision or hardship. In fact, it gives us an independent yet sometimes anxious heroine whose flaws ring all too true, even today.