Charmian Clift

(1499 words)
  • Karen Brooks (University of the Sunshine Coast )

Charmian Clift was a writer with a remarkable gift for capturing the drama and passion of human existence. She was also a script writer, a beauty queen and a popular essayist. Described by critic Kerryn Goldsworthy as a “self-mythologiser”, Clift adopted different personas, idealising and fictionalising her childhood, herself and, significantly, her relationship with her husband, George Johnston. In 1951, she left Australia and spent four years in London before relocating to Greece. In 1964 she returned to Australia, a forlorn and weathered woman, ravaged by years of poverty, alcoholism and broken dreams. Nonetheless, Clift’s story is one of determination to make her mark on the world, despite the times she was born into and the …

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Brooks, Karen. "Charmian Clift". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 May 2005
[, accessed 25 September 2016.]