Quotes by Miles Franklin, Author of My Brilliant Career

Miles Franklin

Miles Franklin (1879 – 1954) was an Australian writer who was best known for her 1901 novel, My Brilliant Career. Franklin traveled to the United States when she became a participant of the women’s movement and joined the National Women’s Trade Union League of America.

Like George Eliot and other female authors, she dropped her first names (Stella Maria Sarah) and retained the last part of it — Miles Franklin — thinking it would help achieve a more serious literary reputation. Here are some quotes by Miles Franklin that help us get to know this under-appreciated author a bit better.


“When all is said and done, friendship is the only trustworthy fabric of the affections. So-called love is a delirious inhuman state of mind: when hot it substitutes indulgence for fair play; when cold it is cruel, but friendship is warmth in cold, firm ground in a bog.”


“Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings.”


“It seems so obvious to say the social world and the academic world are linked.”


“It’s a sign of your own worth sometimes if you are hated by the right people.”


Quotes from My Brilliant Career (1901)

“I studied him attentively all the while. What were his ideas and sentiments it were hard to tell: he never expressed any. He was fearfully and wonderfully quiet. Yet his was an intelligent silence, not of that wooden brainless description which casts a damper on any company, neither was it of the remorse or dreaming order.”


“Our greatest heart-treasure is a knowledge that there is in creation an individual to whom our existence is necessary – some one who is part of our life as we are part of theirs, some one in whose life we feel assured our death would leave a gap for a day or two.”


“… No one would dream of calling you plain, let alone ugly; brilliant is the word that best describes you.” 


My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin (1901)

See also: My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin


“I sat long by my writing table that night-thinking long, long thoughts, foolish thoughts, sad ones, merry ones, old headed thoughts, and the sweet sweet thoughts of youth and love. It seemed to me that men were not so invincible and invulnerable as I had imagined them-it appeared they had feeling and affections after all.”


“Provided a woman is beautiful, allowance will be made for all her shortcomings. She can be unchaste, vapid, untruthful, flippant, heartless, and even clever; so long as she is fair to see, men will stand by her, and as men in this world are ‘the dog on top,’ they are the power to truckle to. A plain woman will have nothing forgiven her.”


My Brilliant Career (1979 film)

You might also like: My Brilliant Career (1979 film)


“I don’t believe there is a God,” I said fiercely, “and if there is, He’s not the merciful being He’s always depicted, or He wouldn’t be always torturing me for His own amusement.”


“It came home to me as a great blow that it was only men who could take the world by its ears and conquer their fate, while women, metaphorically speaking, were forced to sit with tied hands and patiently suffer as the waves of fate tossed them hither and thither, battering and bruising without mercy.”


Quote by Miles Franklin, author of My Brilliant Career (1901)

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