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NewSouth NewSouth

A Certain Style

Beatrice Davis, a literary life

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Beatrice Davis, 1909-1992, was general editor at Angus and Robertson the main Australian publishing company from 1937 to 1973. There she discovered and published such writers as Thea Astley, Miles Franklin, Patricia Wrightson, Xavier Herbert and Hal Porter becoming a literary tastemaker in the process. A central figure in Australian literature – 'respected, feared, courted and berated.'

Originally published to great acclaim in 2001, A Certain Style introduced this stylish and formidable woman to thousands of readers and told a history of books and publishing in twentieth-century Australia. This reissue has a new introduction and updates throughout as the author presents a compelling account of a contradictory woman and her times.

'A sharp-eyed and warm-hearted biography … the pleasure of Davis' company is further enlivened by Kent's own quietly witty take on her material.' — Kerryn Goldsworthy, The Age 

'A witty and enthralling read … The beauty of Kent's book is not just the skill with which she unravels a life but the milieu she evokes en route.' — Matt Condon, Sun-Herald 

'A simply splendid biography of the formidable, maddening, generous, always enchanting Beatrice Davis.' — Ruth Park 

'A terrifc history of the Australian book industry, with the narrative pull of a plot-driven novel. Given current trends in publishing, this is a timely and welcome book.' — Andrea Goldsmith, Australian Book Review — Books of the Year 2018