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The missing diary of Australian literary great Miles Franklin, discovered in a battered old family suitcase, will be donated to the State Library tomorrow.
The small, red pocket diary which Miles wrote in just four days before her death on 19 September 1954, remained undisturbed for more than 60 years.
Plagued by ill health, her very last entry reads: “Went to Eastwood by ambulance to be X-rayed. Ordeal too much for me. Day of distress & twitching. Returned to bed.”
Mitchell Librarian Richard Neville said he is honoured to accept into the State Library’s collection the final written words of one of our greatest writers whose pioneering first novel My Brilliant Career, published in 1901, is now an Australian literary classic.
“Miles’ missing diary will at last be reunited with her collection of diaries, private letters, literary papers, photo albums and personal belongings which she generously bequeathed to the Library,” said Mr Neville, who has been a Miles Franklin Award judge for the past eight years.
The suitcase containing the diary has been in Kim V. Goldsmith’s possession for three years, having been passed down through three generations of Miles’ extended family. In a special event at Macquarie Regional Library in Dubbo, Ms. Goldsmith will officially hand over the diary to the State Library on behalf of the family.
Read news of the diary's discovery in the Sydney Morning Herald online.