Letter by CJD to J.G. Roberts 1915.10.15


Dear Dad,

Excuse the pencil; but I have a severe attack of "Ouch!" and I am sitting back nursing myself like a very thin shelled egg. To which, I seem to hear you reply, "Eggsactly!"

I am sending you, by the strong right hand of Bob, one of the two advance copies of the "Bloke" which I have received. This for your perusal. My special copies are to arrive early next week.

I think you will be pleased with the general get-up. Both Hal and myself are delighted.

As you will have noticed in the paper I posted you, the "B" [Bulletin] have given me a very good review, and, to my surprise, have printed another caricature. One to each book is not a bad record.

They seem to insist on more "Ginger Mick", and I am getting some matter together with a view to early publication. But my heart, just at present is with the Glugs, of which I shall have an instalment to show you when you return.

George Robertsons were talking to me today about a novel, and I mentioned my scheme for "Peter the Dreamer". They seemed impressed and urged me to go ahead. By the way, Symons of that firm confessed today that he "deeply regrets" not having published the "Bloke". He also spoke of it as a "credit to Australia" - referring to the production generally.

The one thing I regret about the "Bully" review is their curt treatment of Hal. His work certainly deserved a warmer word of praise, and, honestly, I would have been more pleased if they had thrown him a few flowers at the expense of my own bouquet. I think he feels it more than he admits, because I know he expected something good from the "B".

Dave was to have had all his final proofs today, and his book will be published this month.

Hal is going ahead with the cover for my next book and is waxing enthusiastic.

Kind regards to mother and the family. Hope you are having a pleasant time.


McLaren Collection, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne.

Dennis referred to J.G. Roberts as "Dad" and Roberts's wife as "Mum" or "mother".
"Bob" is R.H. (Bob) Croll, "David" is David Low and "Hal" is Hal Gye.
This letter was tipped in to the J.G. Roberts copy of The Sentimental Bloke which is held in the McLaren Collection in the Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne.
The "George Robertsons" publishing house referred to above is the Melbourne publishers, not to be confused with Angus and Robertson which was run by George Robertson in Sydney. The Sentimental Bloke was offered to the Melbourne George Robertson first, but they declined to publish it.
The review of The Sentimental Bloke mentioned in the letter is that in the Bulletin of 14 October 1915. The magazine is also referred to as both "B" and the "Bully" in this letter.

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002