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Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin better known as Miles Franklin was born on October 14th 1879 at Talbingo, New South Wales, and grew up in the Brindabella Valley.
Her best-known novel, ‘My Brilliant Career’ (1901), unfolds the story of the teenage girl, Sybylla Melvyn, growing up in rural New South Wales.
After publication, Miles tried various low-key jobs whilst she continued to write. She tried nursing, then was a housemaid in Sydney and Melbourne. Here she contributed pieces to The Daily Telegraph and The Sydney Morning Herald, but always under pseudonyms in case opinions or reviews were negative.
A sequel was written ‘My Career Goes Bung’ in which Sybylla meets the Sydney literary set, but it was not published until 1946.
In 1906, Miles moved to the US and undertook secretarial work for the National Women's Trade Union League in Chicago and co-edited their magazine, Life and Labor. Several books followed but none were stand-out successes. She suffered bouts of ill health and entered a sanatorium in 1912 to recuperate.
In 1915, she travelled to England and worked as a cook and a garnered a little money from journalism.
In March 1917 Miles volunteered to work for the Scottish Women's Hospitals during the Serbian campaigns of 1917–18.
In 1919 until 1926 she worked as Secretary with the National Housing and Town Planning Association in London. Her life in England in the 1920s gave rise to ‘Bring the Monkey’ (1933), a satire on the English country house mystery novel.
After the death of her father she resettled in Australia in 1932 and wrote several historical works, usually under the pseudonym ‘Brent of Bin Bin’. Her other success ‘All That Swagger’ was published under her own name in 1936.
Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin died on 19th September 1954, aged 74. Her ashes were scattered in Jounama Creek, Talbingo.