Christina Stead

Standard Name: Stead, Christina
Birth Name: Christina Ellen Stead
Nickname: Peg
Married Name: Christina Ellen Blake
Over a period of fifty years in the twentieth century, Australian-born CS published a short-story volume (many more stories were posthumously collected), eleven novels (one also posthumous), three translations, and a volume of novellas. Her literary career, never at any stage without obstacles, fell into several sections. At first she drew positive responses from publishers and some reviewers, though her works were seen as uninviting and difficult, and never sold well. The Man Who Loved Children seemed to signal a breakthrough into fame, but after this Stead's prickly personality, refusal to compromise, and Communist politics consigned her to outer darkness again. For years she worked at revision (a task she hated) of texts which had been rejected in their first form, only to have them rejected again. Belated recognition involved acknowledgement that the literary world had been exceptionally slow to do her justice.
Photograph of a gold-coloured memorial plaque to Christina Stead in the Writers Walk, Sydney (near the Opera House), created in 1991 by the New South Wales Ministry for the Arts. The plaque is set against a grey brick wall, and headed with Stead's name and dates. Below, reading downwards, come a circular emblem of the NSW state flower, telopea speciosissima, a quotation from her "Seven Poor Men of Sydney", a brief summary of her works with special mention of "The Man Who Loved Children", an encircled cross,
"Christina Stead, plaque in Writers Walk" Retrieved from This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Literary responses Violet Trefusis
Michael Holroyd suggests in the Afterword to A Book of Secrets: Illegitimate Daughters—Absent Fathers, 2010, that scholarly interest in Vita Sackville-West created a biassed climate for the reception of VT . Whatever vessel set...
Occupation Eva Figes
EF had a long stint as co-editor of this series, which includes works on Margaret Atwood , Jane Austen , Elizabeth Bowen , Elizabeth Barrett Browning , Frances Burney , Willa Cather , Colette ,...
politics Sylvia Townsend Warner
Warner and Ackland were members of publisher Victor Gollancz 's Left Book Club , and wrote assiduously for left-wing papers and magazines. (After the second world war, however, Ackland developed divergent and comparatively right-wing views.)...
Publishing Kathleen Nott
In December 1967 she had been awarded an Arts Council grant of £1,200 (along with Jean Rhys , Christina Stead , Lettice Cooper , Julia Strachey , and others) to support her writing.
“The Times Digital Archive 1785-2007”. Thompson Gale: The Times Digital Archive.
57121 (11 December 1967): 10
Textual Production Angela Carter
She also wrote introductions to works by various writers and artists, including Walter De la Mare , Christina Stead , Gilbert Hernandez , Frida Kahlo , and Charlotte Brontë .
Peach, Linden. Angela Carter. St Martin’s Press, 1998.


21-25 June 1935
The First International Congress of Writers for the Defence of Culture (an anti-fascist event urging the responsibility of writers to their society) was held in Paris.
14 August 1939
Four hundred US intellectuals signed an open letter to All Active Supporters of Democracy and Peace asserting that the USSR was a bulwark against war and aggression,
Rowley, Hazel. Christina Stead: A Biography. Secker and Warburg, 1995.
contrary to politically orthodox views.
10 December 1973
Australian Patrick White was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The citation said he had introduced a new continent into literature. He was unable for health reasons to travel to Stockholm, and his acceptance...
May 1978
Virago Press issued its first Virago Modern Classics, a historically important series most though not all of which were novels.
May 1978
Virago Press issued its first Virago Modern Classics, a historically important series most though not all of which were novels.