Item #5000671 Robbery Under Arms: a Story of Life and Adventure in the Bush and in the Goldfields of Australia. By Rolf Bolderwood. Rolf BOLDREWOOD, Thomas Alexander Browne.
Robbery Under Arms: a Story of Life and Adventure in the Bush and in the Goldfields of Australia. By Rolf Bolderwood.
Robbery Under Arms: a Story of Life and Adventure in the Bush and in the Goldfields of Australia. By Rolf Bolderwood.
Robbery Under Arms: a Story of Life and Adventure in the Bush and in the Goldfields of Australia. By Rolf Bolderwood.

Robbery Under Arms…
Robbery Under Arms: a Story of Life and Adventure in the Bush and in the Goldfields of Australia. By Rolf Bolderwood.

London: Remington and Co., 1888.

Three volumes, small octavo; original green cloth, spines lettered in gilt, front covers with decorative design in black, patterned endpapers; an extremely good set, in a purpose-made box.

The first truly Australian novel

First edition of Boldrewood's most famous novel and 'his most enduring work… often grouped with His Natural Life (1874) and The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn (1859) as the three classics of colonial Australian fiction' (OCAL). The publication of Robbery under Arms, the story of a bushranger gang, led by Captain Starlight, told by an ex-bushranger awaiting execution for his crimes, was a seminal event. While Alexander Harris may have been the first writer to demonstrate real respect for the colonial dialect, no writer before Boldrewood had made authentic use of the Australian vernacular as the means of narration. This was the most important single assertion of linguistic nationalism in the colonial era from which the school of Lawson and Furphy flowed.

First edition of Boldrewood's most famous novel and 'his most enduring work… often grouped with His Natural Life (1874) and The Recollections of Geoffrey Hamlyn (1859) as the three classics of colonial Australian fiction' (OCAL). The publication of Robbery under Arms, the story of a bushranger gang, led by Captain Starlight, told by an ex-bushranger awaiting execution for his crimes, was a seminal event. While Alexander Harris may have been the first writer to demonstrate real respect for the colonial dialect, no writer before Boldrewood had made authentic use of the Australian vernacular as the means of narration. This was the most important single assertion of linguistic nationalism in the colonial era from which the school of Lawson and Furphy flowed.

First serialised in the Sydney Mail in 1882-3, this courageous achievement preceded that of Mark Twain, who one year later employed a vernacular narrator in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, often described as the first truly American novel. In the same way Robbery Under Arms is sometimes considered the first truly Australian novel - certainly H. M. Green considered narrator Dick Marston "perhaps the first thoroughly Australian character in fiction".

This is a very scarce title, and a rarity in this near fine condition.

::

Provenance: Alfred Manners Drummond (1829-1921, a partner of Drummond's Bank who had fought in the Crimean War, with his armorial bookplates.

Burke, 4; Loder, p. 18; Miller, p. 621; Sadleir, 261; Wolff, 586.

Condition Report: Slight adhesion marks on back covers evidently from old labels; a tiny area of rubbing to rear joint of vol. 1; a really attractive and just about fine set in its well-preserved original binding.

Please Enquire

Condition Report