Eleanor Dark was born in 1901, the year Australia became a nation. Her story spans two world wars, the depression of the 1930s, the cold war of the 40s and 50s - and is the story of a generation of writers and intellectuals with a dream of what Australia could be. It tells of a writer who, despite setbacks and controversies, would not compromise her intelligence or integrity.
Despite her friendships with women writers like Miles Franklin, Nettie Palmer and Marjorie Barnard, Eleanor stood apart. She lived in relative seclusion in the Blue Mountains with her husband Eric Dark. Her house, Varuna, was both refuge and lookout onto the turbulent world. But there were times when standing up for their convictions drew Eleanor and Eric into the centre of a storm of rumour and political conflict.
She published ten novels, including the controversial modernist novel 'Prelude to Christopher' (1934) and 'The Timeless Land' (1941), the first book to make the history of white settlement in Australia accessible to the ordinary reader. It quickly became a bestseller in Australia and the US, and influenced the writing of Australian history. Her writing and ideas resonate today - her love for the bush and concern for environmental issues, her feminism, her recognition of Aboriginal rights, the way her writing draws together the popular and the experimental.
This first full-length biography of Eleanor Dark draws on restricted letters and papers, her published and unpublished writing, recently released security files and extensive interviews with family, friends and writer colleagues. There are also interviews with Eric Dark conducted before his death in 1987. Woven into this is the personal story of Eleanor Dark - the early loss of her mother, the imposing figure of her writer father, her long marriage to Eric, her life at Varuna, her times, and, most of all, her writing.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 09 / 1998
- 149 x 225mm