Passionate, headstrong and imaginative, Sybylla Melvyn is one of the most endearing heroines of Australian literature.
I am given to something which a man never pardons in a woman. You will draw away as though I were a snake when you hear.
With this warning, Sybylla confesses to her rich and handsome suitor that she is given to writing stories and bound, therefore on a brilliant career. In this ironically titled and riotous first novel by Miles Franklin, originally published in 1901, Sybylla tells the story of growing up passionate and rebellious in rural NSW, where the most that girls could hope for was to marry or to teach. Sybylla will do neither, but that doesn’t stop her from falling in love, and it doesn’t make the choices any easier.