Reprint: Mr. Moncure Conway and the Late Mr. Marcus Clarke


Sir, - As Mr. Moncure Conway has unwittingly done an injustice to the memory of the late Marcus Clarke, and one calculated to cause pain to his relatives and friends in the colonies, may I ask the favour of your publishing the enclosed letter which he has addressed to the Glasgow Herald, and forwarded to me by the last mail in the hope of its obtaining equal publicity here with the error to which he gave currency.-Yours, &c.,

HENRY G. TURNER. St. Kilda, May 12.

(To the Editor of the Glasgow Herald)

Sir, - I have just learned with dismay that in one of my letters to the Glasgow Herald, written mainly at sea, I have done grievous wrong to the good name of the ablest Australian author - the late Marcus Clarke. A friend of his now in London, who followed him to the grave, assures me that I have been grossly misled in stating that he took to gambling and killed himself. Marcus Clarke was never in any sense of the word a gambler, nor did he commit suicide. I can only conclude that in the story told me, or my understanding of it, the author in question was confused with another eminent Australian writer, who was his friend. The similarity, as I supposed it, of the two tragedies appeared phenomenal enough to be mentioned. It proves to be a delusion. Whatever may have been the origin of this blunder, there was certainly no evil intent behind it. For myself, I have never felt anything but grateful admiration for the author of that powerful romance, "His Natural Life." I regret that no redress of the wrong unwittingly done to his memory seems open to me, beyond an effort to overtake the story with this unreserved retractation of it as absolutely baseless, and expression of my sorrow at the pain it must have caused the family and fnends of the beloved and brilliant Australian - I am, &c,


Inglewood, Bedford-park, Turnham-green.

First published in The Argus, 14 May 1884

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

Moncure D. Conway has his own Wikipedia page, as does Marcus Clarke.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 13, 2010 9:16 AM.

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