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Four Australian women writing in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—a time when stories of bush heroism and mateship abounded, a time when a writing career might be an elusive thing for a woman.
Friends and Rivals is a vivid and engaging account of the intersecting and entwined lives of Ethel Turner, author of the much loved Seven Little Australians, Barbara Baynton, who wrote of the harshness of bush life, Nettie Palmer, essayist and critic, and Henry Handel Richardson, of The Getting of Wisdom and The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney fame.
Brenda Niall illuminates a fascinating time in Australia’s literary history and brings to life the remarkable women who made it so.
‘Few other writers have such an ability to understand and describe the relationships that create the characters of her subjects.’
‘It is all written so fluently and seamlessly that I am quite lost in admiration.’
‘For my money, Brenda Niall’s Mannix is the most wise, shrewd and elegant biography yet produced of this complex and beguiling man. Niall’s irresistible prose strengthens the candour of this fine book.’
‘Among living Australian biographers, only Philip Ayres matches Brenda Niall for painstaking research serving narratives at once spirited and judicious…Dr Niall ignores nothing.’