Caroline Miley is an art historian and writer with a long-time passion for art, the English landscape and literature. She was born in Europe and emigrated to Australia as a child. She is a graduate of LaTrobe and Melbourne Universities and has published several non-fiction books on art, craft and social comment. The Competition is her debut novel.
The Competition is the story of a Georgian-era artist who must enter a painting competition that will see the winner’s career made. In the protagonist I wanted an ordinary person, a man of his time, who struggles with the sort of issues that everyone throughout history has had to deal with: getting ahead, worrying about money, falling in love, fear of failure, boredom, relationships. He’s passionate about his art and wants to succeed, but isn’t sure what that consists of. His life lacks meaning, although it’s not until he becomes involved with the radical politics of the era, with frame-breakers and the fall-out of the Industrial Revolution, that he can see what the problem is and be inspired to do something about it.