'Sybylla, with her touching charm, her impetuosity, her inappropriateness, ranks with the great romantic figures of the nineteenth century.' - The London Times
Stella Miles Franklin was born in the Australian bush in 1879. At the age of twenty-one, she became an international publishing sensation with her first novel, My Brilliant Career. More than a century later it remains an Australian classic.
Miles' early success gave her entree to literary and socialist circles in Sydney and Melbourne. By 1906 she decided to travel overseas, and went to work for the women's labour movement in Chicago. In 1915 she relocated to London and worked for various feminist and progressive causes, all the while continuing to write. A prolific author of plays as well as novels and archetypal bush stories, she often submitted work under pseudonyms that she guarded fiercely all her life. In the 1930s she returned to Australia and determined to take up the cause of Australian writing and writers. Her endowment of the Miles Franklin literary award not only surprised all who knew her, but founded an Australian literary institution that remains our most prestigious.