Melbourne, E.W. Cole, Book Arcade, .
Octavo, 200 pages.
Red- and black-pictorial blue cloth a little marked and rubbed, with minimal wear to the extremities; flyleaves offset (and the front one very slightly chipped); minimal light foxing and trifling signs of use and age; an excellent copy.
The author's first published book; the last six pages are a glossary, 'for the use of the thoroughly genteel'. The front cover illustration is by David Low. McLaren 243. The Institute of Australian Culture contains on its website some interesting information about this book, contributed by Neil Glover (who made much more sense of McLaren's notes than this cataloguer). The book was issued in wrappers, in cloth (as here), and in leather (a deluxe boxed edition). Glover writes: 'McLaren speculates that 5000 copies in total were printed by E.W. Cole. Possibly 4400 Paperback, 500 Cloth and 100 Leather'. In early May 1916, Cole advised Dennis the remaining stock comprised 1977 copies in wrappers, 60 copies in cloth, and 35 copies in leather. 'This highlights the slow sales. Following a dispute with Cole over the Bloke stories appearing in "The Sentimental Bloke" without permission, Dennis purchased the remaining stock which is thought to have been pulped by George Robertson. It can therefore be assumed that approximately 2500 Paperbacks, 450 Cloth and 60 Leather bound copies were sold'. Certainly, one hundred years later, copies in cloth are very scarce, and the leather-bound edition is an absolute rarity.