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Franklin, Stella Maria ( Marian) Sarah Miles (1879 - 1954)

Born
14 October 1879
Talbingo, New South Wales, Australia
Died
19 September 1954
Drummoyne, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Writer
Alternative Names
  • Franklin, Miles (also known as)

Summary

Miles Franklin's place in Australian literary history was assured when on her death in 1954, she made provision for an award for Australian literature. The Miles Franklin Award is the most prestigious for an Australian author to receive. Although she spent almost twenty-four years away from Australia, working mainly in Chicago and London, she was committed to pursuing the notion of the unique Australian perspective in literature. Despite her early success with the publication of 'My Brilliant Career' in 1901, she struggled to gain the recognition she believed she was capable of achieving. Nevertheless on her return to Australia in 1932 she entered the Sydney literary scene enthusiastically and had many of her works published.

Details

Miles Franklin, the eldest child of John Maurice Franklin and Margaret Susannah Helena, nee Lampe, was educated at home and after 1889 at Thornford Public School, when the family moved to Stillwater. They later moved to Cranebrook near Penrith in 1902. After working as a governess in 1897, Miles Franklin, completed her first novel 'My Brilliant Career' in 1899. It was published in London in 1901 after being rejected for publication in Australia. Writing was her means to independence and she left for the United States of America in 1906. She spent nine years working in Chicago for the National Women's Trade Union League with fellow Australian Alice Henry. She continued to pursue her writing career.

She moved to London in 1915, worked briefly at a creche run by Margaret McMillan in Deptford, as a cook, as a volunteer in Macedonia with the Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service, and as a secretary. She remained in London until 1927, but visited Australia in 1923-1924 and again in 1927. She returned to London in 1930 in search of publishers, but settled in Australia permanently in 1932 after her father's death in 1931. During this period she wrote under the pseudonym 'Brent of Bin Bin'.

Despite the demands of her ageing mother, Miles Franklin became a major personality on the Sydney literary scene, supporting new publications and fellowships for Australian writers. She maintained her commitment to an Australian literature until her death.

Her published works include:
My Brilliant career (1901)
Some everyday folk and Dawn (Edinburgh,1909)
The net of circumstance ( London 1915)
Prelude to waking
Old Blastus of Bandicoot ( London 1931)
Bring that monkey
All that swagger
My career goes bung

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Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Florence James - Papers, 1890 - 1993, MLMSS 5877; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Franklin, Miles, 1879-1954 papers, mainly literary manuscripts, 1900 - 1954, ML MSS 445; Franklin, Stella Maria ( Marian) Sarah Miles (1879 - 1954); Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Franklin, Miles, 1879-1954, papers collected by Bruce Sutherland, 1903 - 1956, ML MSS 1128; Franklin, Stella Maria ( Marian) Sarah Miles (1879 - 1954); Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Miles Franklin - papers, 1841-1954, 1841 - 1954, MLMSS 364; Franklin, Stella Maria ( Marian) Sarah Miles (1879 - 1954); Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Miles Franklin - Papers, 1841-1954, 1841 - 1954, MLMSS 364; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • Miles Franklin - The Book of the Waratah Cup, 1902-1908, 1944-1954, 1902 - 1954, R 230c; Franklin, Stella Maria ( Marian) Sarah Miles (1879 - 1954); Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details
  • National Council of Women of New South Wales - further records, ca. 1895-2004, 1895 - 2004, MLMSS 3739; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Franklin Miles, 1879-1954, papers, 1887 - 1931, MS 681; Franklin, Stella Maria ( Marian) Sarah Miles (1879 - 1954); National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Franklin, Miles, 1879-1954, correspondence and literary papers, 1887 - 1954, Mfm G 247427-27477; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

National Library of Australia, Manuscript Section

  • Franklin, Miles, 1879-1954, papers, 1877 - 1954, MS 477; Franklin, Stella Maria ( Marian) Sarah Miles (1879 - 1954); National Library of Australia, Manuscript Section. Details

Rosemary Francis

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE1051b.htm

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