y While the Billy Boils selected work   short story  
  • Author: Henry Lawson http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/lawson-henry
Issue Details: First known date: 1896 1896
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Adaptations

form y While the Billy Boils Beaumont Smith , Australia : Beaumont Smith's Productions , 1921 7836703 1921 single work film/TV

'The camp-fire in the prologue showed the two mates yarning over their evening meal, when the story was forthcoming that immediately was filmed. Tom Wall, on the death of his wife, strove to do double duty to his young, sons, Jim and Dick, at Murraburra Station; but only a mother could have understood the fineness of Jim's nature. Consequently when the lad was found studying and dreaming amid the lonely beauty of the great gums, Wall quarrelled with him and turned him out. Dick remained on the station and grew up to be a weakling in character, but Jim, who took the name of Bob Brothers, was beloved throughout the country. He returned to the Redclay district and took service on his father's property, with One-Eyed Bogan, one of the finest characters in the story. The little 'pub' at Redclay, owned by the 'Widder' Shiffner, was the scene of many humorous episodes; and when the hands were on their way to the Murraburra roll call there was a stampede for the hotel as 'last man to reach the pub shouts!' A gentler influence was introduced when Ruth, Wall's niece, came to live on the station, and both brothers fell in love with her; but Jim, with characteristic unselfishness, believing that Ruth loved Dick, did not obtrude his own claims. A barmaid arrived at Redclay apparently to take a position at the hotel, but in reality to blackmail Dick. A robbery on the station and one at the bank, provided sufficient sensation, and numerous bouts of fisticuffs, as well as a long chase on horse back, added to the excitement of a story that ended entirely to the satisfaction of the audience.'

Source:

'While the Billy Boils', The Register, 1 November 1921, p.6.

Notes

  • While the Billy Boils was issued numerous times between 1896 and the 1970s in a variety of series and formats including single and multi-volume editions divided into two and three 'Series'. George Mackaness's An Annotated Bibliography of Henry Lawson is a useful guide. Most editions have illustrations by Frank Mahony although this is not always stated.
  • The State Library of New South Wales holds the correction drafts of this title. They are available online here.
  • Other formats: Also braille, sound recording, e-book.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Sydney, New South Wales,: Angus and Robertson , 1896 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
An Old Mate of Your Father's, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story
The narrator remembers how his father would be visited by old mates and how they sit together talking about their days on the Ballarat and Bendigo goldfields.
(p. 1-6)
Settling on the Land, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story humour
Lawson gives a graphic, if humorous, account of the hardships faced by settlers and the rivalry between them and squatters.
(p. 7-14)
Enter Mitchell, Henry Lawson , 1894 single work short story
A swagman and his dog get off the train at Redfern station and are accosted by a taxi driver.
(p. 15-17)
Stiffner and Jim (Thirdly, Bill), Henry Lawson , 1894 single work short story humour
Bill and Jim, the narrator, arrive at a pub desperate for a drink, but without any money.
(p. 18-27)
When the Sun Went Down, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story
Tom rebuffs his brother Jack's attempt at reconciliation after a quarrel. But when his brother is trapped in a collapsing mineshaft Tom works desperately to save him.
(p. 28-31)
The Man Who Forgot, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story humour
A soft-hearted shearer is deceived by a cunning swagman.
(p. 32-39)
Hungerford, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story humour

Lawson writes about the remote town of Hungerford, which straddles the N.S.W. and Queensland border. Lawson's story is derived from his visit to Hungerford in January 1893, when he and James Gordon (and possibly Ernest de Guinney) walked there from Torale shearing shed, near Bourke.

(p. 40-44)
A Camp-Fire Yarn, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story humour (p. 45-49)
His Country - After All, Henry Lawson , 1894 single work short story
Expatriate for fifteen years, a man denigrates Australia throughout a coach-trip in New Zealand, until he encounters the smell and sight of imported blue gum trees.
(p. 50-56)
A Day on a Selection, Henry Lawson , 1892 single work short story
Describes a typical day on a selection in western N. S. W.
(p. 57-65)
That There Dog O' Mine, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story
Injured in a drunken brawl, a shearer refuses treatment in a hospital unless his dog, also injured, is allowed to stay as well.
(p. 66-69)
Going Blind, Henry Lawson , 1895 single work short story
Tells the story of a bushman who is losing his sight and his attempts to remain optimistic.
(p. 70-77)
Arvie Aspinall's Alarm Clock, Henry Lawson , 1892 single work short story
A policeman finds a small boy sleeping on the steps outside his workplace. The boy explains he is sleeping there because he is afraid he will sleep in and be late for work.
(p. 78-82)
Stragglers, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story
Description of a group of swagmen and travellers camped in the shearers' shed of a remote sheep station on New Year's Eve.
(p. 83-90)
The Union Buries Its Dead, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story humour
Describes a bush funeral.
(p. 91-97)
On the Edge of a Plain, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story
A swagman arrives home to discover the family in mourning for him, after having been told he is dead.
(p. 98-100)
In a Dry Season, Henry Lawson , 1892 single work short story
Lawson describes the scenes observed as a train traveller to western N.S.W.
(p. 101-105)
He'd Come Back, Henry Lawson , 1894 single work short story
A bushman tells the sorry tale of his marriage.
(p. 106-109)
Another of Mitchell's Plans for the Future, Henry Lawson , 1893 single work short story
Mitchell reveals his plan for obtaining a wife and a farm.
(p. 110-112)
Steelman, Henry Lawson , 1895 single work short story humour
Describes how Steelman would inflict himself on a family and resist all efforts to dislodge him.
(p. 113-116)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Books That Changed Me : Warren Fahey Warren Fahey , 2015 single work
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 9 August 2015; (p. 16)
'A Nation for a Continent' : Australian Literature and the Cartographic Imaginary of the Federation Era Robert Dixon , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 28 no. 1 2014; (p. 141-154, 254)
'During the Federation era, the isomorphic association of literature, land, and nation found expression through the cartographic imaginary, a term that is meant to focus especially on the role of maps in shaping imagined geographies, but which also includes related media such as topographical engravings and photographic views. Contrary to Paul Giles's implication of an achieved "national period" in American literary history, however, Dixon argues that in Australia during the Federation era, the cartographic imaginary expressed an alignment of literature, land, and nation that was more wished for than achieved. He claims that the literature of the Federation period-in particular, the sketches and stories of Henry Lawson's While the Billy Boils (1896) and Joseph Furphy's novel Such is Life (1903)–reveals the uncertainties and the sense of incompletion that attend the cartographic imaginary.' (Publication abstract)
y Biography of a Book : Henry Lawson's While the Billy Boils Paul Eggert , University of Sydney University Park : Sydney University Press Pennsylvania State University Press , 2013 Z1939157 2013 single work criticism 'Biography of a Book traces the life of an iconic Australian literary work in the lead-up to, and for a century after, its initial publication: Henry Lawson's 1896 collection While the Billy Boils. Paul Eggert follows Lawson's gradual development of a pared-back bush realism in the early 1890s, as he struggled to forge a career, writing short stories and sketches for the newspapers.

'Lawson's famous collection came out at a decisive moment for the development of a fully professional Australian literary publishing industry, then in its infancy in Sydney. The volume's editing, design and production were collaborative events that changed the feel and nature of Lawson's writing. He had to give ground on his texts and their sequencing.

'The collection went on to be reprinted and repackaged countless times. Its production and reception histories act like a geological cross-section, revealing the contours of successive cultural formations in Australia. In unravelling the life of Lawson's classic work Eggert's book-historical approach challenges and clarifies established understandings of crucial moments in Australian literary history and of Lawson himself.' (From the publisher's website.)
Rediscoverd Lawson Sketch of 1863 'Selection Farms' Paul Eggert , 2012 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October-November vol. 27 no. 3/4 2012; (p. 124-135)

'Paul Eggert writes on the discovery of Henry Lawson's prose sketch 'Selection Farms'.

Brought to Book : Bibliography, Book History and the Study of Literature Paul Eggert , 2012
— Appears in: Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society , March vol. 13 no. 1 2012; (p. 3-32)
Poetry as Cinema : A Discursive Screening from 1913-2006 John Jenkins , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 71 no. 3 2011; (p. 135-148)
'Australian cinema began with a confident leap into the future. Charles Tait's The Story of the Kelly Gang, made in Melbourne in 1906, is credited as the world's first narrative feature. Post-Federation years continued to see poetry influence the national imagination, and occasionally inspire cinema on its journey.' (Author's abstract)
Manuscript of While the Billy Boils, 1896 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: ONE Hundred : A Tribute to the Mitchell Library 2010; (p. 72-73)
Riding on the 'Uncurl'd Clouds' : The Intersections of History and Fiction Brian Matthews , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Cambridge History of Australian Literature 2009; (p. 344-359)
'...the intersection of history and fiction, of works of record and works of the imagination, has been going on for a long time in the Australian creative culture.' (346)
The Ironies in Lawson's Campfire Michael Uniacke , 2006 single work biography
— Appears in: Coppertales : A Journal of Rural Arts , no. 10 2006; (p. 74-78)
Discusses Henry Lawson's deafness and how it impacted on his writing.
Escaping the Bush Paradigm Lucy Frost , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Imagining Australia : Literature and Culture in the New New World 2004; (p. 53-65)
Rhizomes Just Don't Grow on Trees! : Studying Bibliography in the 1990s Kym McCauley , 1998 single work criticism bibliography
— Appears in: Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin , First Quarter vol. 22 no. 1 1998; (p. 27-38)
Early British Publication of `While the Billy Boils': The A.P. Watt Connection Elaine J Zinkhan , 1997 single work criticism
— Appears in: Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin , Third Quarter vol. 21 no. 3 1997; (p. 165-182)
Hyper-Critical Edition of While the Billy Boils - and Theory Kym McCauley , 1997 single work column
— Appears in: Newsletter (Australian Scholarly Editions Centre) , April no. 2 1997; (p. 18)
Man, Work and Country: The Production of Henry Lawson Christopher Lee , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 15 no. 3 1992; (p. 110-122)
Lee conducts a semiotic analysis of the reception of Henry Lawson and his works, revealing the connections critics made between the work, the hand of the author and truth. Lee finds that the work of a colonial realist like Lawson was subordinated to a European aesthetic in the "shifting discursive territories which characterise culture", subsequently excluding it from the validating process of the dominant culture.
Jose's Editing of "While the Billy Boils" Teresa Pagliaro , 1990 single work criticism
— Appears in: Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin , Third Quarter vol. 14 no. 3 1990; (p. 81-93)
The Originality of "While the Billy Boils" John Barnes , 1985 single work criticism
— Appears in: Henry Lawson's Short Stories 1985; (p. 12-25)
Eve Exonerated: Henry Lawson's Unfinished Love Stories Brian Matthews , 1983 single work criticism
— Appears in: Who Is She? 1983; (p. 37-55)
The Historical Sense and the Commonwealth Writer S. C. Harrex , 1983 single work criticism
— Appears in: The History and Historiography of Commonwealth Literature 1983; (p. 145-156)
Henry Lawson and George Robertson : A Note on Their Association Colin Roderick , 1968 single work essay
— Appears in: North , no. 6 1968; (p. 18-23)
Henry Lawson as Craftsman A. A. Phillips , 1948 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian Tradition : Studies in a Colonial Culture 1958; (p. 1-17) The Australian Tradition : Studies in a Colonial Culture 1966; (p. 1-16) On Native Grounds : Australian Writing from Meanjin Quarterly 1967; (p. 63-72) Henry Lawson Criticism 1894-1971 1972; (p. 281-294) Meanjin , Winter vol. 7 no. 2 1948; (p. 80-90) Twentieth Century Australian Literary Criticism 1967; (p. 181-193)
Phillips rejects the view that Lawson's prose lacks technical virtuosity. Phillips argues that Lawson's aim was not to tell a story, but to evoke the quality of Australian living. Lawson's spare narratives, effective understatement and ironic twists within a symmetrical structure produce stories of substantial artistic value.
While the Billy Boils 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Queenslander , 12 September 1896; (p. 499)

— Review of While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story
Literature. Literary Notes 1896 single work review criticism
— Appears in: The Sydney Mail , 7 November vol. 62 no. 1896 1896; (p. 982)

— Review of The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses A. B. Paterson 1895 selected work poetry ; While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story ; In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses Henry Lawson 1896 selected work poetry
Untitled 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The North Queensland Register , 30 September 1896; (p. 20)

— Review of While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story
Publications Received 1903 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Printer, Stationer, and Bookseller , 21 December vol. 1 no. 1 1903; (p. 30-31)

— Review of In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses Henry Lawson 1896 selected work poetry ; While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story ; Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses A. B. Paterson 1902 selected work poetry
Scribblers and Screed 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Free-Lance , 3 October vol. 1 no. 24 1896; (p. 12)

— Review of The Clairaudient : A Story of Psychical Research C. Ernest Robin 1896 single work novel ; While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story
Lawson's Prose Alfred George Stephens , 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 29 August vol. 17 no. 863 1896; (p. 2) The Writer in Australia : A Collection of Literary Documents, 1856-1964 1969; (p. 82-85)

— Review of While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story
New Publications 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Town and Country Journal , 29 August vol. 53 no. 1386 1896; (p. 10)

— Review of While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story
New Books and New Editions 1897 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Town and Country Journal , 20 November vol. 55 no. 1450 1897; (p. 43)

— Review of While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story
While the Billy Boils 'Price Warung' , 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Bathurst Free Press and Mining Journal , 29 August 1896; (p. 2) Henry Lawson Criticism 1894-1971 1972; (p. 48-50)

— Review of While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story
Price Warung criticizes the inclusion of many stories that he argues were written for money. But despite this quality Warung praises the realistic picture of Australia that emerges from Lawson's descriptions.
A Pantheon of Bush Types Frederick John Broomfield , 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Workman , 24 October 1896; Henry Lawson Criticism 1894-1971 1972; (p. 61-65)

— Review of While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story
Broomfield argues that the "genuine" Australia is in the bush and Lawson is the poet of the bush, but has only dealt with the darker moods.
'The Bookshelf' 1896 single work review
— Appears in: The Block , 15 August 1896;

— Review of While the Billy Boils Henry Lawson 1896 selected work short story
Escaping the Bush Paradigm Lucy Frost , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Imagining Australia : Literature and Culture in the New New World 2004; (p. 53-65)
The Ironies in Lawson's Campfire Michael Uniacke , 2006 single work biography
— Appears in: Coppertales : A Journal of Rural Arts , no. 10 2006; (p. 74-78)
Discusses Henry Lawson's deafness and how it impacted on his writing.
Henry Lawson and George Robertson : A Note on Their Association Colin Roderick , 1968 single work essay
— Appears in: North , no. 6 1968; (p. 18-23)
Riding on the 'Uncurl'd Clouds' : The Intersections of History and Fiction Brian Matthews , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Cambridge History of Australian Literature 2009; (p. 344-359)
'...the intersection of history and fiction, of works of record and works of the imagination, has been going on for a long time in the Australian creative culture.' (346)
Manuscript of While the Billy Boils, 1896 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: ONE Hundred : A Tribute to the Mitchell Library 2010; (p. 72-73)
Some Reminiscences of George Robertson, Australian Publisher A. B. Paterson , 1933 single work biography
— Appears in: The Sydney Mail , 20 September 1933; (p. 8)
A. B. Paterson writes of George Robertson's career in publishing, particularly the publication and promotion of Paterson's The Man from Snowy River and Henry Lawson's While the Billy Boils.
Poetry as Cinema : A Discursive Screening from 1913-2006 John Jenkins , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 71 no. 3 2011; (p. 135-148)
'Australian cinema began with a confident leap into the future. Charles Tait's The Story of the Kelly Gang, made in Melbourne in 1906, is credited as the world's first narrative feature. Post-Federation years continued to see poetry influence the national imagination, and occasionally inspire cinema on its journey.' (Author's abstract)
y Biography of a Book : Henry Lawson's While the Billy Boils Paul Eggert , University of Sydney University Park : Sydney University Press Pennsylvania State University Press , 2013 Z1939157 2013 single work criticism 'Biography of a Book traces the life of an iconic Australian literary work in the lead-up to, and for a century after, its initial publication: Henry Lawson's 1896 collection While the Billy Boils. Paul Eggert follows Lawson's gradual development of a pared-back bush realism in the early 1890s, as he struggled to forge a career, writing short stories and sketches for the newspapers.

'Lawson's famous collection came out at a decisive moment for the development of a fully professional Australian literary publishing industry, then in its infancy in Sydney. The volume's editing, design and production were collaborative events that changed the feel and nature of Lawson's writing. He had to give ground on his texts and their sequencing.

'The collection went on to be reprinted and repackaged countless times. Its production and reception histories act like a geological cross-section, revealing the contours of successive cultural formations in Australia. In unravelling the life of Lawson's classic work Eggert's book-historical approach challenges and clarifies established understandings of crucial moments in Australian literary history and of Lawson himself.' (From the publisher's website.)
Man, Work and Country: The Production of Henry Lawson Christopher Lee , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 15 no. 3 1992; (p. 110-122)
Lee conducts a semiotic analysis of the reception of Henry Lawson and his works, revealing the connections critics made between the work, the hand of the author and truth. Lee finds that the work of a colonial realist like Lawson was subordinated to a European aesthetic in the "shifting discursive territories which characterise culture", subsequently excluding it from the validating process of the dominant culture.
y Australian Literature C. Hartley Grattan , Seattle : University of Washington , 1929 Z40812 1928 single work criticism This article, considered the first study of Australian literature by an overseas critic, was first published in the Bookman and then published, with a foreword by Nettie Palmer, in the University of Washington Chapbooks series. The article and the foreword were reprinted in Antipodes in 1988.
The 'Spectator's' Opinion of Henry Lawson 1897 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian Town and Country Journal , 24 July vol. 55 no. 1433 1897; (p. 11)
Early British Publication of `While the Billy Boils': The A.P. Watt Connection Elaine J Zinkhan , 1997 single work criticism
— Appears in: Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin , Third Quarter vol. 21 no. 3 1997; (p. 165-182)
Hyper-Critical Edition of While the Billy Boils - and Theory Kym McCauley , 1997 single work column
— Appears in: Newsletter (Australian Scholarly Editions Centre) , April no. 2 1997; (p. 18)
Rhizomes Just Don't Grow on Trees! : Studying Bibliography in the 1990s Kym McCauley , 1998 single work criticism bibliography
— Appears in: Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin , First Quarter vol. 22 no. 1 1998; (p. 27-38)
The Originality of "While the Billy Boils" John Barnes , 1985 single work criticism
— Appears in: Henry Lawson's Short Stories 1985; (p. 12-25)
Jose's Editing of "While the Billy Boils" Teresa Pagliaro , 1990 single work criticism
— Appears in: Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin , Third Quarter vol. 14 no. 3 1990; (p. 81-93)
Henry Lawson as Craftsman A. A. Phillips , 1948 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian Tradition : Studies in a Colonial Culture 1958; (p. 1-17) The Australian Tradition : Studies in a Colonial Culture 1966; (p. 1-16) On Native Grounds : Australian Writing from Meanjin Quarterly 1967; (p. 63-72) Henry Lawson Criticism 1894-1971 1972; (p. 281-294) Meanjin , Winter vol. 7 no. 2 1948; (p. 80-90) Twentieth Century Australian Literary Criticism 1967; (p. 181-193)
Phillips rejects the view that Lawson's prose lacks technical virtuosity. Phillips argues that Lawson's aim was not to tell a story, but to evoke the quality of Australian living. Lawson's spare narratives, effective understatement and ironic twists within a symmetrical structure produce stories of substantial artistic value.
Henry Lawson Alfred George Stephens , 1922 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Bookfellow , 28 February 1922; (p. 21-22) The Writer in Australia : A Collection of Literary Documents, 1856-1964 1969; (p. 93-96)
Eve Exonerated: Henry Lawson's Unfinished Love Stories Brian Matthews , 1983 single work criticism
— Appears in: Who Is She? 1983; (p. 37-55)
The Historical Sense and the Commonwealth Writer S. C. Harrex , 1983 single work criticism
— Appears in: The History and Historiography of Commonwealth Literature 1983; (p. 145-156)
Last amended 26 Nov 2013 10:21:10
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