About Jacquie

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Jacqueline Kent is… a writer of non-fiction and biography, fiction, general articles and literary journalism. Her working background includes radio interviewing, print journalism, radio and TV scriptwriting, editing books, ghostwriting, teaching editing and creative writing, and arts administration.
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A Certain Style: Beatrice Davis, A Literary Life


Beatrice Davis, 1909-1992, was Australia’s most acclaimed book editor. In her forty-year career with Angus and Robertson, she discovered and nurtured the talents of countless writers, including Thea Ashley, Patricia Wrightson, Xavier Herbert and Hal Porter. She was the bridge connecting Miles Franklin and Tim Winton. Her position as a judge of major literary prizes reinforced her pivotal role in this country’s culture. As well as telling her story, and those of her authors, including some of this country’s most notable literary eccentrics, the book traces the rise, decline and fall of Angus and Robertson, Australia’s premier publishing house for more than a century.

This account of a fascinating era in Australian publishing and literature won the National Biography Award in 2001. It has now been reissued with a new preface and updates throughout, introducing a new generation of readers to Beatrice Davis and the world she knew.

‘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

‘The details of this book are fascinating and a rich resource.’ Peter Rose, Australian Book Review

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

‘Jacqueline Kent catches the sight and the sound of Beatrice Davis so well that, in reading this exhilarating biography of Australia’s first and greatest full-time book editor, I kept hearing her cutglass voice in the background.’ Barry Oakley, The Australian

‘A Certain Style is a wonderful, warm, rich and totally enjoyable biography about an undoubted lady once referred to by her long-time friend Hal Porter as ‘always being attracted to the devil in the basement’ while novelist D’Arcy Niland summed her up as ‘a gentlewoman… and she’s a little beaut, too!’, Janet Mawdesley, Blue Wolf Reviews

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