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The Cardboard Crown

The Cardboard Crown: Text Classics

Langton Quartet, Book One

Martin Boyd

Introduction by Brenda Niall

This remarkable novel, first published to a chorus of acclaim in 1952, is one of the lost classics of Australian literature. Martin Boyd is a deeply humane novelist, a writer of family sagas without peer.

Set in Australia and England in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, The Cardboard Crown presents an unforgettable portrait of an upper middle-class family who love both countries but are not quite at home in either.

At the centre of this scintillating and immensely readable novel is Alice Verso, whose unexpected marriage to Austin Langton not only brings financial stability to the Langtons but founds an Anglo-Australian dynasty. But when her grandson finds her diaries and begins to uncover her story he chances on an intricate web of deception and reveals the complex fate of his family over three generations.

Features an introduction by one of Australia’s best-known and award-winning biographers, Brenda Niall.

Martin Boyd
About the Author

Martin a’ Beckett Boyd was born in Switzerland in 1893 into a famous family. His brothers Merric and Penleigh were to become artists, too. Merric’s son Arthur was to become a famous painter, and Penleigh’s son Robin became an architect and the author of The Australian Ugliness.

After leaving school Martin Boyd enrolled in a seminary, but he...

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Brenda Niall
About the Introducer

Brenda Niall is one of Australia’s foremost biographers. She is the author of several award-winning biographies, including her acclaimed accounts of the Boyd family and her portrait of the Durack sisters, True North. In 2016 she won the Australian Literature Society’s Gold Medal and the National Biography Award for Mannix. In 2004 she was...

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Text publication date:
24 October 2012
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Praise for Martin Boyd
andThe Cardboard Crown

‘A spirited and highly accomplished novel, done with the most engaging liveliness and intelligence.’

‘A rueful, cheerfully savage novel…lit with unearthly fires and enchantments.’

‘The grace and wit of his best writing, the subtlety with which he captures social nuances, and his placing of intimate family dramas against a broader social background, make Boyd quite individual as an Australian novelist.’

Other editions ofThe Cardboard Crown
  • The Cardboard Crown
    ISBN: 9781921961717
    24 October 2012
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