Daily Archives: June 23, 2020

Essay: ‘Nine lives’ by Brenda Niall


How fitting that I should be reading Brenda Niall’s Friends and Rivals when this essay should pop up on Inside Story.

She talks about her most recent book, but also the other biographies she has written, all in the latter part of her career with the English Department at Monash University, then in retirement. She is fond of the group biography, which she used so well with The Boyds: A Family Biography and now in her most recent book about four Australian women writers between the 1890s and 1920s: Ethel Turner, Barbara Baynton, Henry Handel Richardson and Nettie Palmer.  I admire Brenda Niall a great deal as a biographer.