Australian fiction

Fact'ry 'ands by Edward Dyson
Australian fiction was an exhibition of material from the Australian Monash University Library Rare Books Collection.

A selection of novels and books of short stories by over one hundred writers, the exhibition covers our national output of fiction from 1845 to 2000. Included are such rarities as Ned Kelly, the ironclad Australian bushranger, published in 1881, less than a year after his execution; Henry Lawson’s first book, Short stories in prose and verse (1894); Melbourne and Mars (1889), an early example of Australian science fiction; as well as Patrick White’s first novel, The Happy Valley, (1939) which he would not allow to be reprinted.

It’s a small, but nice collection of book covers, with some curious titles, such as Melbourne and Mars : my mysterious life on two planets : extracts from the diary of a Melbourne merchant, The joyful condemned and Winning a wife in Australia : a story drawn from actual experiences and illustrative of life in the present day in the Antipodes. And I hope this last just is just a fiction book, because I’m not sure about the methods used to get a wife by its cover. (via Martin Klasch)

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