The Little Black Princess of the Never-Never. Mrs Aeneas GUNN.
The Little Black Princess of the Never-Never
The Little Black Princess of the Never-Never

The Little Black Princess of the Never-Never

Melbourne, Robertson & Mullens, 1929 ('Completing the 92nd thousand')/ 1905.

Octavo, viii, 107, [1] (colophon) pages plus 25 pages of plates and a map.

Pictorial cloth lightly flecked, with minor blemishes (loss of colour and sizing agent) to a few small areas near the top and leading edges of the rear cover; edges foxed, with mild scattered foxing elsewhere; a very good copy with a small contemporary ownership stamp on the front flyleaf.

The front flyleaf also carries a lengthy gift inscription from the author, signed and dated (Jeannie Gunn, 31 March 1932). The message commences: 'In my deep regard for all "Diggers" and, at the request of my very good friend Mr Charles Peters: Digger & Legatee'. Charles Harold Peters (1889-1951) was no ordinary Digger. The published history of the 38th Battalion AIF records in its Roll of Honors that for his actions on 2 January 1917 at Houplines, as Lieutenant, Peters was awarded the Military Cross, and on 4 November 1918 at Bony, as Captain, he was awarded a Bar to the Cross. After his war service, he became a bookseller, rising to the position of managing director of Robertson & Mullens, hence his close relationship with Jeannie Gunn. Lightly hinged on to the front pastedown is an original gelatin silver photograph (138 × 98 mm) inscribed by Jeannie Gunn in ink on the verso 'Bett-Bett 1907 - Four years after'. It is a delightful full-length portrait of Bett-Bett in her 'wonderful, lonely Palace'. Jeannie Gunn (1870-1961) and the people of Elsey cattle station on the Roper River, about 500 kilometres south of Darwin, became famous through this book and its companion volume, 'We of the Never-Never' (1908). 'Over the years newspapers and magazine articles chronicled the fortunes of the Elsey characters; Jeannie outlived all but Bett-Bett [Dolly Bonson, who died in March 1988, aged 95].... During World War I and after, she was active in welfare work for soldiers, ex-servicemen and their families ... She was patron of many fund-raising activities associated with ex-servicemen' ('Australian Dictionary of Biography'). This impressive association copy incorporates many of these important aspects of Jeannie Gunn's life. Muir 3115.

Item #106826


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