Classic Australian Works
Lucinda Brayford (1946) chronicles three generations of an Anglo-Australian family around the turn of the twentieth century and contrasts both Australian and English societies. At the same time, the book is a sensitive study of one woman's life. Lucinda's family, originally arriving in Australia in disgrace, become wealthy though farming, eventually owning a magnificent house in Toorak where the cream of Melbourne society gathers for social events. Lucinda meets Captain Hugo Brayford and they marry and leave for England where her marriage fails. A life of ease and wealth in Melbourne is replaced by hardship and austerity in wartime England. Some of the anti-authoritarianism and pacifism that emerged from Martin Boyd's experiences in World War I can be seen in this book, considered by some to be his finest work.
Martin Boyd was born in 1893 in Lucerne, Switzerland during one of the periodic trips his artist parents made to England and Europe. During World War I, Martin served in the Royal Flying Corps and was profoundly affected by his war experiences. He was awarded the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal in 1956 for A Difficult Young Man (also in Classic Australian Works). Martin Boyd died in Rome, Italy, 1972, where he had lived for the previous fifteen years.