Christina Stead (1902 - 1983)

Brief Biography

Christina Stead was born and raised in Australia but spent the bulk of her life abroad, living in London (1928-29), Paris (1929-37), USA (1937-47), Europe (1947-53), and England (1953-1974) before returning to Australia to live.

After graduating from Sydney Teachers' College in 1921, Stead taught only until 1924 when she resigned to work as an office clerk. She left Australia for London in 1928 in order to fulfill a longing that would be similarly reflected by greater numbers of Australian literary figures some forty years later. She met her husband, William Blake, a successful Marxist banker, in London and moved with him to Paris in 1929. There she worked as a secretary in a French bank for five years. She followed her husband around the USA and Europe until he died in 1968. The next year Stead visited Australia for the first time since she departed some forty years earlier, and returned to live there permanently in 1974.

Considered by many to have been one of Australia's greatest novelists, she was often spoken of in Nobel Prize terms, especially in regards to her greatest novel The Man Who Loved Children which was based heavily on her childhood.

Christina Stead died in Australia in 1983.


Seven Poor Men of Sydney 1934
The Beauties and Furies 1936
House of All Nations 1938
The Man Who Loved Children 1940
For Love Alone 1944
Letty Fox: Her Luck 1946
A Little Tea, A Little Chat 1948
The People With the Dogs 1952
Colour of Asia 1955
Cotters' England 1966
Dark Places of the Heart 1966 (aka Cotters' England)
The Little Hotel 1973
Miss Herbert (The Suburban Wife) 1976
The Palace With Several Sides 1986
I'm Dying Laughing 1986

Short Story Collections
The Salzburg Tales 1934
Great Stories of the South Sea Islands 1955
The Puzzleheaded Girl 1967
A Christina Stead Reader 1978
Ocean of Story 1985
Christina Stead: Selected Fiction and Nonfiction 1994

A Web of Friendship (1928-1973) edited by R.G. Geering
Talking Into a Typewriter (1973-1983) edited by R.G. Geering

Christina Stead by Hazel Rowley

This page and its contents are copyright © 1997-2004 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: January 25, 2004.