Miss Herbert

Christina Stead
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ISBN 9780571270019 Format Paperback
Published 20/05/2010 Length 314 pages

About Book

Eleanor Herbert Brent is a beautiful woman - tall, blond and athletic. Sexuality forms her personality and as a young English graduate on the loose in London, she savours the capacity to excite - and sleep with - every man she meets. At the same time she is deeply conventional, believing in respectability, in the desire to be a wife and mother in the 'dear old-fashioned way'. But real love between a man and a woman - something which could transform her into the passionate woman she really is - Eleanor determinedly avoids. When she is thirty she marries and has children. However, her wholesome but unsatisfying suburban life collapses with the departure of her pompous prig of a husband. She survives to find some success on the fringes of literary life, new lovers, new friends, but never to know herself.

Eleanor is a literary portrait on a magnificent scale, but she is more than that. Divided in herself and deeply self-deluded, Eleanor's life is a powerful metaphor for the England of the 1920s to the 1950s through which she lives.

  • About Christina Stead

    Christina Stead (1902-1983) was an Australian-born novelist and short-story writer acclaimed for her satirical wit and penetrating psychological characterisations. She wrote fifteen novels and several volumes of short stories in her lifetime, during which she spent many years living abroad in Europe and the USA, returning to Australia to live only late in life. Considered by many to have been one of Australia's greatest novelists, Stead's best-known and most acclaimed novel, The Man Who Loved Children, is largely based on her own childhood, and was first published in 1940.

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