Biography

Jill Burton reviews 'Cynthia Nolan: A biography' by M.E. McGuire

Jill Burton
19 December 2016

When times were difficult, Cynthia Reed Nolan ‘drew the veil’. Born in Evandale in 1908, the youngest of six children, Cynthia always sought distance ...

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Ann-Marie Priest reviews 'Katherine Mansfield: The early years' by Gerri Kimber

Ann-Marie Priest
19 December 2016

Katherine Mansfield is one of those shimmering literary figures whose life looms larger than her work. This is not because her writing lacks value: Mansfield’s spiky ...

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Shannon Burns reviews 'The Life of D.H. Lawrence' by Andrew Harrison

Shannon Burns
30 November 2016

Readers who expect to be treated with gentlemanly courtesy have always found D. H. Lawrence rough going. His explicit fictional representations of sex and his anti-war diatribes were widely condemned in his lifetime, and his novels were duly censored or withdrawn from sale in Britain and beyond. Lawrence’s prose style – lyrical and sensuous one moment, brusque a ... More

Ian Donaldson reviews 'The Unknown Judith Wright' by Georgina Arnott

Ian Donaldson
24 October 2016

Literary biographers and their intended subjects at times agree and at times disagree about the stories they think should be told. J.D. Salinger and Vladimir Nabokov – the one, fastidiou More

Janna Thompson reviews 'Hume: An intellectual biography' by James A. Harris

Janna Thompson
26 September 2016

David Hume earned his place in the philosophical pantheon mostly because of the uncompromising empiricism of his early work A Treatise of Human Nature (1738). He looked ...

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Kevin Foster reviews Phillip Schuler: The remarkable life of one of Australia’s greatest war correspondents' by Mark Baker

Kevin Foster
23 September 2016

Who was Phillip Schuler? A war correspondent for The Age, his six-week visit to Gallipoli in July and August 1915 produced, inter alia, a few of the rare eyewitness accounts of the battle ...

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Miriam Cosic reviews 'Hitler: A biography, volume I: Ascent, 1889–1939' by Volker Ullrich and translated by Jefferson Chase

Miriam Cosic
23 September 2016

There is a point of view that says we shouldn't humanise a tyrant such as Adolf Hitler since that reduces the symbolism, the power of his name as a synonym for pure evil, and can lead to ...

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Dennis Altman reviews 'The House that Jack Built: Jack Mundey, Green Bans hero' by James Colman

Dennis Altman
23 September 2016

The term 'green ban', first used in 1973, is so much part of our political vocabulary that we forget it has a specific and Australian genesis, which had considerable influence on the Greens ...

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Rachel Fuller reviews 'The Worst Woman in Sydney: The life and crimes of Kate Leigh' by Leigh Straw

Rachel Fuller
22 August 2016

The Worst Woman in Sydney is the first biography devoted to the early twentieth-century Sydney underworld matriarch Kate Leigh. Leigh Straw attempts to tease out ...

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Brenda Niall reviews 'Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a lady novelist' by Anne Boyd Rioux

Brenda Niall
22 August 2016

If Constance Fenimore Woolson is remembered today, it is likely to be as a friend of Henry James, and a minor character in his much-chronicled life. Anne Boyd Rioux's ...

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