Australian Ballads .. Bush

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Gary Harding
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Australian Ballads .. Bush

Post by Gary Harding » Sun Jan 08, 2017 10:53 am

Cruising garage sales has always produced the occasional item of excitement.

Here is a delicate and diminuitive (14cm x 10cm) but nevertheless comprehensive for its time, book in the Canterbury Poets (England) series entitled Australian Ballads. Cost 50cents.

It is undated and has no reference to either Paterson or Lawson, but does enthuse over Henry Kendall.
Some internet research indicates that it was published in 1888, thus explaining the absence of those greats.

In the extensive and fascinating Introduction it says among many other things :

"The vigorous man must be strangely constituted who does not love Australia, with its glittering air, its vast space, its infinite possibilities ; and strangely constituted the light-hearted girl who does not revel in its pleasure-days unspoiled by rain, its lustrous nights secure from chill."

So true... !

The author of the long Introduction, Douglas Sladen, obviously a staunch 1888 Englishman and staunch Australian too, is a dreadful name-dropper though. The term "Bush Poet" I note in passing is well used, thus proving its common use at least by that time.

Douglas Sladen migrated to Australia in 1879 where he became the first professor of history in the new University of Sydney. He subsequently returned to his beloved English chill, passing away in 1947.
He was also a bit of a poet:

"We are all English, born in one great union
Of blood and language, history and song,
All English, and to cherish our communion
We will present a common front to wrong."

..not bad.. for an Englishman.

The author in 1888 also says "Blank verse has found little favour in Australia, which is not surprising, as to a great extent it is the offspring of a classical education."

Ah! now I know why blank verse is completely meaningless to me. I missed going to Oxford ... which is Doug's old alma mater.

Anyway, here is the book with a new and custom-designed dustjacket made to spruce it up, give it the love it deserves and protect it on the shelf for at least another 130 years.
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Maureen K Clifford
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Re: Australian Ballads .. Bush

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:23 pm

another good find Gary and the price was right :lol: I love the new cover you have designed for it.
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Shelley
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Re: Australian Ballads .. Bush

Post by Shelley » Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:47 pm

Fascinating stuff, Gary!

I love this quote:
"Blank verse has found little favour in Australia, which is not surprising, as to a great extent it is the offspring of a classical education."
Yairs, yer can't learn them colonials!!

Cheers ;)
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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