Biography of a Book: Henry Lawson's While the Billy Boils
Biography of a Book traces the life of an iconic Australian literary work in the lead-up to, and for a century after, its initial publication: Henry Lawson's 1896 collection While the Billy Boils. Paul Eggert follows Lawson's gradual development of a pared-back bush realism in the early 1890s, as he struggled to forge a career, writing short stories and sketches for the newspapers. Lawson's famous collection came out at a decisive moment for the development of a fully professional Australian literary publishing industry, then in its infancy in Sydney. The volume's editing, design and production were collaborative events that changed the feel and nature of Lawson's writing. He had to give ground on his texts and their sequencing. The collection went on to be reprinted and repackaged countless times. Its production and reception histories act like a geological cross-section, revealing the contours of successive cultural formations in Australia. In unravelling the life of Lawson's classic work Eggert's book-historical approach challenges and clarifies established understandings of crucial moments in Australian literary history and of Lawson himself
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A. G. Stephens Angus & Robertson appeared April August Australian literary Australian Literature Bails Bertha bibliographical Billy Boils Blackwood book history bookseller Bulletin Bush Bush Undertaker Chapter Colin Roderick collection colonial Commentaries conﬁrmed cultural December deﬁnitely Drover’s Wife edition editor Eggert and Webby evidence ﬁction ﬁgure ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁrm ﬁrm’s ﬁrst George Robertson H. M. Green Henry Lawson HL’s illustrations issue Jose Jose’s Kiernan Kipling’s later Lawson’s prose Ledger letter literary criticism loe Wilson lohn London lose’s luly lune magazine Mahony’s Melbourne Mitchell Library ML MSS newspaper November October ofthe period Pinker poems printed printer’s copy proﬁt proofs Prose and Verse publication published readers reading Reﬂections reprinted revised Robbery Under Arms selection September 1896 sequence Short Stories signiﬁcant Sliprails Snowy River Stephens’s stories and sketches Stories in Prose Sydney textual typesetting University Press volume Webby Worker writing Zealand