THE original manuscript of one of Australia’s greatest novels may be lying lost somewhere in or around Goulburn.
It is the manuscript of My Brilliant Career written by Miles Franklin in 1898/9 while she was living at Thornford, between Goulburn and Collector. Its disappearance is one of the great literary mysteries.
Stella Miles Franklin (she dropped Stella from her name to have a better chance of being published) took the manuscript to Mr TJ Hebblewhite, then Editor of the Goulburn Evening Penny Post, at his Victoria Street home.
There he helped her edit it in September 1899.
She then sent it to Henry Lawson, who took it to his publisher in England, where it was published – to great acclaim and notoriety - in 1901.
Then the manuscript disappeared and no one knows where.
There is a good chance, however, it is somewhere in the Goulburn district as it is believed it was sent back to Miles Franklin in 1901, and she continued living at Thornford until 1903.
Cast and crew of the Lieder Theatre’s upcoming production of the play Miles Franklin – A Brilliant Career believe it may give clues to where the valuable manuscript might be.
Written by local resident Jennifer Lamb, the play tells the story of the writing and publication of My Brilliant Career.
Ms Lamb hopes that “someone’s memory might be jolted by the play’s realistic interpretation of the circumstances in which Miles Franklin wrote her novel in Goulburn – I guess it’s a bit like re-creating a crime scene.”
The play is at
the Lieder Theatre, starting tonight to March 23 at 8pm Wednesdays, Fridays and
Saturdays, and 2pm Sunday and Saturday, March 17 and 23. Bookings can be made
at Town and Country Books or www.liedertheatre.com