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Cover image from first edition.
y separately published work icon My Brilliant Career single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1901... 1901 My Brilliant Career
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'My Brilliant Career was written by Stella Franklin (1879-1954) when she was just nineteen years old. The novel struggled to find an Australian publisher, but was published in London and Edinburgh in 1901 after receiving an endorsement from Henry Lawson. Although Franklin wrote under the pseudonym 'Miles Franklin', Lawson’s preface makes it clear that Franklin is, as Lawson puts it 'a girl.'

'The novel relates the story of Sybylla Melvyn, a strong-willed young woman of the 1890s growing up in the Goulburn area of New South Wales and longing to be a writer.' (Publication summary)

Exhibitions

6607625
18005757
18005672

Adaptations

form y separately published work icon My Brilliant Career Eleanor Witcombe , ( dir. Gillian Armstrong ) Adelaide : Margaret Fink Productions , 1979 Z817179 1979 single work film/TV (taught in 7 units)

Based on the book by Miles Franklin, this feature film tells the story of an Australian country girl who, at the end of the nineteenth century, wants to make her own way in the outside world.

Rejecting an offer of marriage from a wealthy suitor (who is also her childhood friend), she instead finds herself obligated to work off her father's debt to a neighbouring family, for whom she works as governess and housekeeper. Returning home, she again rejects her suitor's proposal, this time in favour of writing a novel based on her experiences.

My Brilliant Career Kendall Feaver , 2020 single work drama

'Australia, on the cusp of a new century. Sybylla Melvyn has grown up beyond the black stump, but she is determined to get away and make her own spectacular mark on the world. But if that’s to happen, she must first surmount collapsing family fortunes, a world hardwired against headstrong women, and the insistent nagging of love.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

My Brilliant Career Christine Davey , 2021 single work drama

'Sybylla Melvyn is a young woman on the verge of life and freedom and is determined, above all else, to break down the barriers keeping her from both. 

'From the award-winning Skin of Our Teeth Productions comes My Brilliant Career, a theatrical re-imagining of Stella Miles Franklin’s timeless novel. This is the story of Sybylla Melvyn, a young woman on the verge of everything – hope, loss, freedom and the search for independence. Christine Davey’s adaptation is a glorious love letter to landscape and language, a homage to life.'

Source: La Mama Theatre.

Reading Australia

Reading Australia

This work has Reading Australia teaching resources.

Unit Suitable For

AC: Year 12 (Literature Unit 3)

Themes

adaptation of novel to film, Australia, Australian country life, film study, gender, love, narrative voice, setting, social reading, structure, women

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking, Information and communication technology, Intercultural understanding

Notes

  • My Career Goes Bung is the sequel to My Brilliant Career.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,:Text Publishing , 2012 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
My Brilliant Career : Introduction, Jennifer Byrne , single work criticism

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Edinburgh,
      c
      Scotland,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      William Blackwood ,
      1901 .
      image of person or book cover 3778863790135569175.jpg
      Source: Miles Franklin Literary Award website
      Extent: viii, 319p.p.
      Reprinted: 1902 , 1903 , 1904
      Note/s:
      • Preface by Henry Lawson.
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Angus and Robertson , 1965 .
      image of person or book cover 413741736061287316.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: x, 232p.p.
      Reprinted: 1966
      Note/s:
      • Preface by Henry Lawson.
      ISBN: 0207128812 (pbk)
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Angus and Robertson , 1974 .
      image of person or book cover 5002147934948095034.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: x, 232p.p.
      Note/s:
      • With a Preface by Henry Lawson.
      • Part of the A & R classics series.
      ISBN: 0207128812 (pbk), 0207128715
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Angus and Robertson , 1979 .
      image of person or book cover 8391442915367639687.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: x, 232p.p.
      Reprinted: 1986 ISBNs 0207142424; 0207142521
      ISBN: 020713796X
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Angus and Robertson ,
      1979 .
      image of person or book cover 587432638193094418.png
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 229p.
      Edition info: Arkon paperbacks
      Note/s:
      • With a preface by Henry Lawson.
      ISBN: 0207142424 (pbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Virago ,
      1980 .
      image of person or book cover 2104391180912413079.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 232p.
      Reprinted: 1983
      Note/s:
      • Virago Modern Classics series.
      • With a new introduction by Carmel Callil.
      ISBN: 0860681939 (pbk)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      St. Martin's Press ,
      ca. 1980 .
      image of person or book cover 7755301318310834567.jpg
      Source: Bibliopolis
      Extent: x, 232p.p.
      Note/s:
      • With a new introduction by Carmel Callil.
      ISBN: 0312555997
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Angus and Robertson ,
      1980 .
      image of person or book cover 2594731647937728779.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 253p.
      Description: illus.
      Note/s:
      • Includes the film costume and set designs by Luciana Arrighi; additional decoration by Roger Janovsky.
      ISBN: 0207142521
    • Cape Town,
      c
      South Africa,
      c
      Southern Africa, Africa,
      :
      David Philp ,
      1982 .
      image of person or book cover 7562682392131874109.png
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 274p.
      Edition info: South African educational edition, with commentaries by Susan Gardner.
      Description: illus.
      ISBN: 0908396775
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Folio Society ,
      1983 .
      Extent: 255p.
      Description: illus.
      Note/s:
      • With an introduction by Joan Aiken and drawings by Dodie Masterman.
    • Kensington, Randwick area, Sydney Eastern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Times House , 1984 .
      image of person or book cover 3555094599252754446.png
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: x, 232p.p.
      ISBN: 0858356937
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Great Australian Writers : Miles Franklin, Henry Handel Richardson, Mrs Aeneas Gunn, Ruth Park Miles Franklin , Henry Handel Richardson , Mrs Aeneas Gunn , Ruth Park , London : Heinemann , 1987 Z1335920 1987 selected work novel London : Heinemann , 1987 pg. 11-190
    • North Ryde, Ryde - Gladesville - Hunters Hill area, Northwest Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,: Eden Paperbacks , 1987 .
      image of person or book cover 7289150730653972629.png
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 232p.
      Reprinted: 1990
      ISBN: 0207158185
      Series: Eden Paperbacks Angus and Robertson (publisher), 1987 series - publisher This paperback imprint of Angus and Robertson was launched in September 1987. The first titles included Upfield's Winds of Evil and Derryn Hinch's Death at Newport.
    • Harlow, Essex,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Longman ,
      1989 .
      image of person or book cover 4491831136971278772.jpg
      This image has been sourced from Goodreads.
      Extent: xxxvi, 302p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 1 May 1989
      ISBN: 0582017297 (pbk)
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon My Brilliant Career [and] My Career Goes Bung Miles Franklin , North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1990 Z407359 1990 selected work novel (taught in 7 units) North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1990 pg. 3-258
    • Pymble, Turramurra - Pymble - St Ives area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: HarperCollins Australia , 2001 .
      image of person or book cover 3578820479083781380.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: xv, 259p.p.
      Edition info: A&R Classics
      ISBN: 0207197245 (pbk), 0207197407 (pbk)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin Books ,
      2007 .
      image of person or book cover 2011592658232439097.jpg
      Source: Good Reads
      Link: 19217477Access online Sighted: 07/05/2020
      Extent: xxvii, 253 p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Sandra M. Gilbert.
      • Bibliography: p. [xxiii]-xxvii.
      ISBN: 9780143105053 (pbk.)
    • Peterborough, Ontario,
      c
      Canada,
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Broadview Press ,
      2008 .
      image of person or book cover 5097664036171991410.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 289 pp.
      Description: illus., port., map
      ISBN: 9781551116778
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2012 .
      image of person or book cover 6912719508717683011.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 1v.p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: 26 April 2012.
      ISBN: 9781921922190 (pbk.)
      Series: y separately published work icon Text Classics Text Publishing (publisher), Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012- Z1851461 2012 series - publisher novel 'Great books by great Australian storytellers.' (Text website.)
    • c
      Australia,
      c
      :
      Fourth Estate ,
      2018 .
      image of person or book cover 3380920989078425985.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 272p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 20 August 2018.

      ISBN: 9781460757185, 1460757181
Alternative title: わが青春の輝き
Transliterated title: Waga seishun no kagayaki
Language: Japanese
    • Tokyo, Honshu,
      c
      Japan,
      c
      East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
      :
      Sanrio ,
      1981 .
      image of person or book cover 28889080893943373.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 322p.
      Description: illus.
      ISBN: 9784001131376

Other Formats

  • Sound recording.
  • Braille.
  • Large print.

Works about this Work

Guide to the Classics : My Brilliant Career and Its Uncompromising Message for Girls Today Ann Vickery , 2020 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 10 December 2020;

'Growing up in Australia in the 1970s, I much preferred the hijinks of Han Solo and Chewie to Princess Leia’s sexualised damsel in distress. My sister and I spent an entire summer pigging out on Choc Wedges and Barney Bananas so we could collect the men’s cricket team on specially marked sticks. Feminism seemed a world “far, far away”. Yet what Australian girls could and couldn’t do was being explored through a glut of screen adaptations of classic novels.' (Introduction)

Bold Women in Print Grace Blakeley-Carroll , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Unbound : The National Library of Australia Magazine , September 2017;

'Curator Grace Blakeley-Carroll looks at early twentieth-century Australian female writers and the publishing industry.'

Going To The Silences Maggie MacKellar , 2017 single work essay
— Appears in: Sydney Review of Books , June 2017;

'A long time ago, after the publicity had finished for my first memoir When It Rains and while I was still brimming with writing confidence and no real direction I dreamed what my next book was to be. Woken by a willie wagtail calling outside my window I reached for the notebook on the bedside table. With eyes still sticky with sleep I scrawled down the details of the extraordinary walk I had just taken with Miles Franklin.' (Introduction)

Toward Worlding Settler Texts : Tracking the Uses of Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career through the Curriculum Larissa McLean-Davies , Susan K. Martin , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , September vol. 32 no. 2 2017;

'Using Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career as its focus, this paper explores the institutional possibilities and constraints of ‘worlding’ settler texts in secondary school and university environments. We argue that the teaching of texts, and those who teach texts in schools and universities, play a key role in negotiating national and international textual boundaries. This paper expands on the practices of reading, to incorporate an analysis of documents that frame the intended, espoused, and enacted curriculum. Examining the publication and teaching history of My Brilliant Career in Australia and overseas and the use of literature as a tool of nationalism and globalisation, this paper argues that the teaching of literature in institutions acts as material evidence of our efforts to negotiate the demands of the national and the global. Literature teaching thus powerfully contributes to the ways in which we understand the work that is undertaken, the boundaries crossed and compromises brokered when we study settler texts in globalised contexts.' (Publication abstract)

Hero and Tragedy : An Analysis of Sybylla Melvyn in My Brilliant Career Li Fangtao , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: 澳大利亚文化研究 , June vol. 1 no. 2 2016; (p. 45-57)

'My Brilliant Career, published in 1901, is the first and also the most influential work of Australian writer Miles Franklin (1879—1954). It depicts a “new woman image” which represents an ambitious, imaginative, rebellious bush girl and genuinely reflects the late 19th century Australia. She rebels and fights but fails to get out of the colonial women’s miserable life without any patriarchal persecution. She is reproached and excluded by public. She is left lonely and helpless and is nearly on her breakdown. She is a brave warrior of feminism, but still another tragic character of patriarchy.'

Source: Abstract.

Untitled Freda Barrymore , 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The North Queensland Register , 21 June 1930; (p. 35)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin , 1901 single work novel ; Ten Creeks Run : A Tale of the Horse and Cattle Stations of the Murrumbidgee Brent of Bin Bin , 1930 single work novel
Untitled Yoshua Wakeham , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 28)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin , 1901 single work novel
Untitled Maurice Dunlevy , 1966 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 26 March 1966; (p. 13)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin , 1901 single work novel ; Bush Studies Barbara Baynton , 1902 selected work short story
The Backward Glance Brian Elliott , 1966 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May vol. 5 no. 7 1966; (p. 134-135)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin , 1901 single work novel ; The Pea Pickers Eve Langley , 1942 single work novel ; The Long Prospect Elizabeth Harrower , 1958 single work novel ; Bush Studies Barbara Baynton , 1902 selected work short story
Untitled Grahame Johnston , 1966 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian , 7 May 1966; (p. 9)

— Review of My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin , 1901 single work novel ; Literary Australia 1966 anthology criticism ; Bush Studies Barbara Baynton , 1902 selected work short story
The New Woman in the New World : Evelyn Dickinson and a New Type of Australian Heroine Gillian Sykes , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies , Summer vol. 16 no. 1 2001; (p. 1-21)
Miles Franklin: The Outside Track Anna Rutherford , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Multiple Worlds, Multiple Words : Essays in Honour of Irene Simon 1988; (p. 239-256) Breaking Circles 1991; (p. 118-143)
The Olive Schreiner of Australian Literature Nettie Palmer , 1932 single work criticism
— Appears in: Illustrated Tasmanian Mail , 16 June 1932; Nettie Palmer : Her Private Journal Fourteen Years, Poems, Reviews and Literary Essays 1988; (p. 419-422)
A Comet of Wonder Fallen to Earth: The Diaries of Miles Franklin Paul Brunton , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 255 2003; (p. 35-40)
Images of Woman in Miles Franklin's My Brilliant Career and Alice Munro's Who Do You Think You Are? N. E. Pavithra , 1994-1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Commonwealth Review , vol. 6 no. 2 1994-1995; (p. 79-84)
Last amended 23 Jul 2021 12:23:51
Subjects:
  • Monaro, Cooma area, Cooma - Snowy - Bombala area, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales,
  • Goulburn, Goulburn area, Southern Highlands - Southern Tablelands, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales,
Settings:
  • Goulburn, Goulburn area, Southern Highlands - Southern Tablelands, Southeastern NSW, New South Wales,
  • 1890s
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