Brenda Niall

Brenda Niall is one of Australia’s foremost biographers.


About Brenda Niall

Brenda Niall is one of Australia’s foremost biographers. She is the author of five award-winning biographies, including her acclaimed accounts of the Boyd family. In 2016 she won the Australian Literature Society’s Gold Medal and the National Biography Award for Mannix.

In 2004 she was awarded the Order of Australia for ‘services to Australian literature, as an academic, biographer and literary critic’. She frequently reviews for the AgeSydney Morning Herald and Australian Book Review.


Articles about Brenda Niall

Mannix by Brenda Niall Cover

The Greatest Churchman: Mannix
by Brenda Niall

Daniel Mannix is the greatest churchman in Australian history, but he was far too much of a turbulent priest for the College of Cardinals. This was the man who opposed Billy Hughes’ referendum on conscription and won. This is the man who split the Labor Party down the middle in 1956 and did everything in his considerable power to keep it out of office.

Articles by Brenda Niall

No Bouquets, No Touching Up:
Myself When Young

Some memoirs are written in tranquil mood and quiet spaces. Not this one. When Henry Handel Richardson sat down at her desk in September 1942 to contemplate her younger self, the sound of German bombing raids made writing almost impossible. Yet she found the task a welcome escape from the turbulent present. A novel in progress and a short story were put aside. Myself When Young was her last book. Although she did not live to complete it, her memoir opens a door to her past that she had kept firmly closed during her life as a writer.