For a long time I have been intending to write down earliest memories to discover how many I retain clear-cut before my memory is too moth-eaten. I meant to do this as a diary for myself alone, as sailors in the doldrums erect full-rigged ships in bottles just because the mind is an instrument that sanity cannot leave idle. I must find some kind of exercise for a mind unused except on chores or with the triffle-traffle of housewives.'
Miles Franklin wrote this delightful autobiography in 1952–1953. She was unable to arrange for publication before her death in 1954 and the MS. came to Angus and Robertson Ltd from her executors, the Permanent Trustee Co. Ltd of New South Wales. It was first published in 1963.