Everyone seems to have time on their hands in the past couple of weeks. Sue, Lisa you’re not aiming at the magic 366 posts for the year are you? I’m not sure I have that much reading time. But in the spirit of the new year, and with a review almost ready to post, I thought I’d nevertheless take advantage of an unexpected couple of days at home, and post my ‘Best Reads’ for books published in Australia 100 years ago, ie. over the course of 1915.
Hooton and Heseltine list 45 books for the year – and despite being a war year, that doesn’t appear to be many fewer than for the non-war years in that decade – of which 11 are novels.
Top of the list would have to be Katherine Sussanah Prichard’s The Pioneers, her first and the winner of the Hodder & Stoughton All Empire Literature Prize. (see reviews by Nathan Hobby and by Whispering Gums)
Other notables are –
CJ Dennis, The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke (Verse)
? Henry, The Trade Union Woman (History)
Douglas Mawson, The Home of the Blizzard (Autobiography) (see review by Lisa at ANZLL)
Louise Mack , A Woman’s Experiences in the Great War (Autobiography)
Rosa Praed, Lady Bridget in the Never Never Land (Novel)
Ethel Turner, The Cub (Childrens)
Nettie Palmer and Vance Palmer both had books of verse published, as did Henry Lawson (My Army, O, My Army) and Norman Lindsay a book of verse and illustrations (NL’s Book No. 11)
Outhwaite and Rentoul had two books of fairy stories published, illustrated it says by AI Rentray – AI Rattray is Ida Rentoul’s mother’s maiden name – but more likely by Ida’s sister Annie Rattray Rentoul of whom I wrote earlier.
I was going to say there doesn’t seem to be anything else that made it through the subsequent ten years let alone 100 but Mills, The Colonization of Australia (History) is marked as having been reprinted in 1968, perhaps the Resident Judge or Historians are Past Caring have seen it.
In a big year for them, the Palmers had a daughter, Aileen, whose biography (by Sylvia Martin) is coming out this year. Other notable births included Bill Wannan, Judith Wright and Donald Friend; and Rolf Boldrewood died.
And finally, if you want to get the flavour of the times, why not try –
Littlejohn, Agnes, Patriotic Poems.
Reference: Joy Hooton and Harry Heseltine, Annals of Australian Literature, 2nd Ed., OUP, Melbourne, 1992
See also review by Whispering Gums of CJ Dennis biography