Childhood at Brindabella
My First Ten Years
by Miles Franklin
Angus and Robertson, 1963, [First Edition], b/w photographic plates, illustrated end-papers, hardcover, dustjacket
Very Good Condition, minor edge and shelf wear, previous owners inscription on half-title page, dustjacket has edge and shelf wear with small chips and tears at edges and corners and minor scuffing, watermark to back of dustjacket (see photographs)
'This delightful autobiography is the story of Miles Franklin's first ten years, spent partly on her parents' station in the mountain valley of Brindabella, not far from the present Canberra, partly at her grandmother's property near Talbingo, New South Wales. It is the world of high places and graceful living which she portrayed in her novels, here recaptured with unfaltering warmth and simplicity.
It is about how the old pioneer houses were built, "growing like bulbs in clusters"; how her mother, skilled in sewing, once sewed on the toe of a small boy who had mislaid it; how the infant Miles hid under the table to listen to adults' conversation or embarrassed the company at dinner by discussing the peculiarities of the guests; how she drove a team of bullocks, awed at seeing the great beasts move at her small command; how she fraternised with the pigs, rode the horses, caught a platypus in the rivulet that irrigated the garden, and watched the lyrebirds feeding with the domestic poultry: a lovely, deeply human book full of the natural history of snakes, goannas, remittance men, boys, aunts and uncles.
Miles Franklin wrote it in 1952-53 but was unable to arrange for publication before her death in 1954, and it is now printed for the first time. It is a little Australian classic which, if it is not the most ambitious of Miles Franklin's writings, is unquestionably the most charming.'