Today October 14, 2014 Google Australia is celebrating the life and legacy of Miles Franklin. Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin, known as Miles Franklin was born October 14, 1879 in Talbingo, New South Wales in Australia and she passed away on September 19 September 1954 at the age of 74 in Drummoyne, New South Wales Australia. She was an Australian Feminist and writer best known for her novel My Brilliant Career, first published in 1901.
Although Miles Franklin wrote throughout her life, her other major literary success, All That Swagger, was not published until 1936.
The “My Brilliant Career” by Miles Franklin was first published in 1901. She wrote the novel while still a teenager mostly to entertain and amuse her friends. The Novel was a major success and as a result she is regarded as one of the most well-known, and most read Australian writers of her time. After publication of the “My Brilliant Career” Miles Franklin however withdrew the publication, saying that there was too many perceived similarities between, her real life, family and friends. The book was once again published after her death.
Her best known novel, My Brilliant Career, tells the story of an irrepressible teenage girl, Sybylla Melvyn, growing to womanhood in rural New South Wales. It was published in 1901 with the support of Australian writer, Henry Lawson.
After its publication, Franklin tried a career in nursing, and then as a housemaid in Sydney and Melbourne. Whilst doing this she contributed pieces to The Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald under the pseudonyms “An Old Bachelor” and “Vernacular.”
She wrote a follow up novel, to the “My Brilliant Career” novel called My Career Goes Bung. Once again we encounter the enchanting Sybylla Melvyn. She’s a little older now, catapulted from bush obscurity into sudden fame with the publication of her autobiography. Sybylla goes to fashionable Sydney to further her career in the literary world, but her patrons, her critics and her innumerable suitors meet more than they bargained for in the willful Sybylla. The book “My Career Goes Bung” was first published in 1946 Forty Six years after My Brilliant Career was written.
Miles Franklin in the United Kingdom and the United States of America
In 1906, Miles Franklin moved to the US and undertook secretarial work for Alice Henry, another Australian, at the National Women’s Trade Union League in Chicago, and co-edited the league’s magazine, Life and Labor.
Her years in the US are reflected in On Dearborn Street (not published until 1981), a love story that uses American slang in a manner not dissimilar to the early work of Dashiell Hammett. Also while in America she wrote Some Everyday Folk and Dawn (1909), the story of a small-town Australian family, which uses purple prose for deliberate comic effect. She suffered regular bouts of ill health and entered a sanatorium for a period in 1912.
In 1915, she travelled to England and worked as a cook and earned some money from journalism. In March 1917 Franklin volunteered for war work in the Ostrovo Unit of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals during the Serbian campaigns of 1917–18. She served as a cook in a 200-bed tent hospital attached to the Serbian army near Lake Ostrovo in Macedonia Greece from July 1917 to February 1918.
From 1919 to 1926 Franklin worked as Secretary with the National Housing and Town Planning Association in London. She organised a women’s international housing convention in 1924.
Her life in England in the 1920s gave rise to Bring the Monkey (1933), a satire on the English country house mystery novel. Unfortunately the book was a literary and commercial failure.
Miles Franklin Legacy
In her will she made a bequest for her estate to establish an annual literary award known as The Miles Franklin Award. The first winner was Patrick White with Voss in 1957.
The Canberra suburb of Franklin and the nearby primary school Miles Franklin Primary School are named in her honor.
The school holds an annual writing competition in Miles Franklin memory. During her lifetime Miles Franklin donated several items to the Mitchell Library.
Manuscript material was presented over the period 1937–1942. The various drafts of “Pioneers on Parade” were presented in 1940. She bequeathed her printed books collection, correspondence and notes as well as the poems of Mary Fullerton[.
A revival of interest in Miles Franklin occurred in the wake of the Australian New Wave film My Brilliant Career (1979), which won several international awards.
And today also received the honor from Google, to be one of the selected few to have received a Google Doodle about their life and legacy.
Source Wikipedia: Miles Franklin
Novels by Miles Franklin
- Joseph Furphy: The Legend of a Man and His Book (1944)
- Laughter, Not for a Cage (1956)
- Childhood at Brindabella (1963)
Under the pseudonym of “Brent of Bin Bin”
- Up the Country (1928)
- Ten Creeks Run (1930)
- Back to Bool Bool (1931)
- Prelude to Waking (1950)
- Cockatoos (1955)
- Gentleman at Gyang Gyang (1956)
Miles Franklin Novels
- My Brilliant Career (1901)
- Some Everyday Folk and Dawn (1909)
- Old Blastus of Bandicoot (1931)
- Bring the Monkey (1933)
- All That Swagger (1936)
- Pioneers on Parade (1939) – with Dymphna Cusack
- My Career Goes Bung (1946)
- On Dearborn Street (1981)
Although I haven’t read any of Miles Franklin’s novels yet, the Doodle inspired me to at least read one of her books in the near future!