"Ginger Mick was a likeable rogue who, before he answered the call to arms to defend democracy,
sold fresh rabbits in the streets of Melbourne. This book tells of his tender love for Rose
and his experiences at war in North Africa. The verse is full of humour and pathos and truly
captures the spirit of the era.
"The Moods of Ginger Mick was written during the early years of World War One when
Australian nationalism was at its peak and appeared in the year following Dennis's enormous
and immediate success with The Songs of the Sentimental Bloke.
"In addition to two overseas editions, Ginger Mick, as this book is commonly called, sold
over 70,000 copies in its first four years. A special "pocket version for the troops" was
reprinted four times. This edition is similar in style and presentation to the original 1916
version with its Hal Gye illustrations and jacket and is the first reprint of Ginger Mick for
over fifty years."
From the Angus & Robertson hardback edition, 1980.
In addition to the poems listed in the contents above, Dennis originally intended
The Battle of the Wazzir to be included in the
book, but censors intervened and it was excised. The poem would have been published between "The Push" and "Sari Bair".
The Call which was also not included
in this book, but which was originally published in The Bulletin, at the time Dennis was writing the Ginger Mick
verse, and which is signed "In Hospital. Ginger Mick".
Dennis published A Fair Spin, in
the Herald in 1922, which was signed "Yours, Ginger Mick." Oddly enough the poem is about trade matters.
Published in the Herald in 1927, Armistice is
subtitled "To His Dead Cobber from the Sentimental Bloke" - which basically describes the piece.
You can read the following letters relating to the editing and publication of this book:
George Robertson to CJD: 1916.06.16 - re "Ginger Mick"
CJD to George Robertson: 1916.06.21 - re "Ginger Mick" and letter from George Robertson above
J. Le Gay Brereton to George Robertson 1916.10.23 - re "Ginger Mick"