The Most I Could Be

A Renaissance Story

Dale Kent
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The Most I Could Be

Subjects

Memoirs

Published

4 May 2021

ISBN

9780522877663

Pages

456

Weight

584g

Size

232mm x 154mm

Subjects

Memoirs

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

The Most I Could Be

A Renaissance Story

Dale Kent
In a memoir spanning continents and a lifetime of scholarship, a trailblazing historian recounts her struggles since the 1960s in her search for fulfilment both as a scholar and a woman
'Of all the exhilarating slogans that galvanised women in the 1970s, determined to change ourselves and the world, the one that really inspired me was: 'Be the most that you can!' Even as a small girl, I was eager to be the most I possibly could. This desire drove my life.' Raised in an aspirational Australian working-class family of Christian Scientists, in the 1960s Dale Kent embarked on a lifelong struggle to fulfil the desire of many women of her generation - to be the most she could be. Despite discrimination and self-doubt, she escaped her controlling family and established an international career as a historian of the Florentine Renaissance. But she failed to liberate herself from the crippling views of women, love and sex she had internalised in childhood. Craving independence and sexual fulfilment, Kent left her child with her husband and started afresh in the United States on…
'Of all the exhilarating slogans that galvanised women in the 1970s, determined to change ourselves and the world, the one that really inspired me was: 'Be the most that you can!' Even as a small girl, I was eager to be the most I possibly could. This desire drove my life.' Raised in an aspirational Australian working-class family of Christian Scientists, in the 1960s Dale Kent embarked on a lifelong struggle to fulfil the desire of many women of her generation - to be the most she could be. Despite discrimination and self-doubt, she escaped her controlling family and established an international career as a historian of the Florentine Renaissance. But she failed to liberate herself from the crippling views of women, love and sex she had internalised in childhood. Craving independence and sexual fulfilment, Kent left her child with her husband and started afresh in the United States on an academic road trip that took in Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton and the National Gallery of Art. Her story, both poignant and darkly comical, traces a counterpoint between increasing professional success, a desperate search for a sexual soulmate and a way back to her daughter.

Honest, unflinching.”
Australian Women's Weekly

Reading Dale Kent's stunning memoir is like making friends with the most interesting, intelligent witty and charismatic person in the room. You never want the conversation to end. ”
Clare Wright

Dale Kent

Dale Kent

Dale Kent studied the Italian Renaissance at the universities of Melbourne and London, and has published books on Florentine friendship, neighbourhood and the artistic patronage of the Medici. She spent her life researching and teaching in Australia, Italy and the United States, before retiring in Melbourne.

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Paperback
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