This humorous 'verse novel', first published in book form in 1915 and selling over 60,000 copies in 9 editions within a year, tells the story of Bill, a larrikin of the Little Lonsdale Street push, who is introduced to a young woman by the name of Doreen. It tells of their courtship and marriage, detailing Bill's transformation from a violence-prone gang member to a contented husband and father. A helpful glossary is provided for those who find Australian terms difficult to understand.
Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, (1876–1938) was an Australian poet mainly known for "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke" (1916), its success making him, by 1917, the most prosperous poet in Australian history. Considered as one of Australia's three most famous poets, on his death the then Prime Minister suggested he was destined to be remembered as the "Australian Robert Burns".
Our 1st edition copy is in good condition, its green cloth covers showing few signs of wear apart from some light bumping of corners, a little shelf wear to top & tail of spine, and one or two grubby marks consistent with age. Title etc in darker green lettering on front and spine; image of cherub with cigarette also on the front. Inside, the binding is firm with no loose pages; all pages clean and bright. Illustrations and decorated initial letters by Hal Gye. On the front pastedown, a white label with typed note: "This book is the property of Lord Riverdale" (the steel magnate), and on the fep there are traces of a ?gift inscription in sepia ink, and an erased price mark of 3/6, both removed at some time with an eraser. A little card is included, with a typed note: "With compliments Sidney Crawford". This was probably the prominent Australian businessman (1885-1968) who ended his days in Brighton, having served on numerous English and Australian organisational bodies, where he would no doubt have come into contact with Lord Riverdale. Copies of this book are rare in the UK.