Reprint: "Steele Rudd" Dead


Creator of Dad, Mum, and Dave

"Steele Rudd" (Arthur Hoey Davis), selector, bushman, engineer, and surveyor, but best known as the author of "On Our Selection" and other books of the series, died yesterday in the Brisbane General Hospital, aged 67 years. His place in Australian literature was definite and no Australian writer attained a greater measure of popularity. He was bom at Drayton (Q.) in 1868. He was the son of Mr. Thomas Davis, of the Darling Downs. In his boyhood he worked on sheep and cattle stations. He went to Brisbane in 1886 to enter the Civil Service of the State as a clerk in the office of the sheriff. He was under-sheriff in 1902-3, and later was secretary of the Queensland Royal Commission which inquired into the Normanton-Cloncurry railway. His first stories of the bush were published in Brisbane newspapers, but soon he became a contributor to the Sydney "Bulletin."  It was the publication of "On Our Selection" that won him immediate popularity in Australia and in New Zealand. His rugged characters who toiled under a blazing sun, fighting drought and pests for a living from the soil - Dad, Mum and Dave - rough of speech, honest of purpose, and kindly of heart, lived as vividly as did   any character of Dickens. They lived through the pages of all books of the series, shouting the boisterous humour of the far outback to make tens of thousands laugh. "On Our Selection" was a stage success abroad and it was screened as both a silent and a sound picture.

Mr. Davis is survived by three sons and one daughter.

First published in The Argus, 12 October 1935

[Thanks to the National Library of Australia's newspaper digitisation project for this piece.]

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 2, 2009 8:59 AM.

Jack Thompson and C.J. Dennis was the previous entry in this blog.

Best Books of the Year 2009 #5 - "Library Journal" is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en