A Certain Style
Beatrice Davis: A Literary LifeAuthor: Jacqueline Kent
Featured in the August, 2001 magazine
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At a time when Australia was a small country that took almost perverse pride in its anti-intellectualism, Beatrice Davis affirmed the importance of our writers in every aspect of her working life. Australian literature will always be in her debt.
Beatrice Davis, 1909-1992, was this country's most acclaimed book editor, the 'backroom girl of Australian literature'. As general editor at Angus and Robertson from the late 1930s to the early 1970s, she discovered and nurtured the talents of countless writers, among them Thea Astley, Miles Franklin, Xavier Herbert and Hal Porter. Her position as a judge of major prizes, including the Miles Franklin Award, reinforced her pivotal role - one that saw her by turns respected, feared, courted and berated. In her long career she saw Australian publishing change from a genteel pursuit to a market-dominated industry. A Certain Style also tells the story of that change, illustrated by the decline and fall of Angus and Robertson, for almost a century as Australia's premier publishing house.
This was the heyday of literary letter-writing an Kent's biography draws on rich correspondence as well as those who remember Beatrice Davis vividly.
Review by: Hilary McPhee
Category:Non Fiction Biography