Issue Details: First known date: 1844 1844
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  • 'A Descriptive, Moral and Philosophical, Serio-Comic, Melo dramatic, and Lyrical, or Operatic - yet Epic, Poem'
  • Advertised by Nathaniel Lipscombe Kentish ('A Hand in the Bush') in Southern Australian 16 January 1840 (p. 3), as 'this South Australian poem (the first published by in and on the Province)' . Apparently in six cantos, this poem has not survived, but extracts from Canto I and Canto II appear in his Work in the Bush (1846) pp 50-55, 57-60. See Paul Depasquale A Critical History of South Australian Literature 1836-1930, p. 42.
  • Ferguson No.3846a (Addenda to Vol. III) refers to a footnote in Kentish's Work in the Bush (p. 50) where the author explained that the poem had been 'printed by Pratt, Hobart, but still unpublished; the entire impression (1,000 copies) having been burnt at the bookbinder's...except a very few the possession of the author and are become very choice Works...'
  • In a letter from Kentish to Daniel Bunce dated 10 October 1850 (MS 9722, La Trobe Manuscripts Collection, State Library of Victoria), Kentish writes that if Bunce visits the Police Offices and asks Mr Sturt [?] for some papers of Kentish's ' shall have the privilege of reading or singing my Bush [?] Opera ... take great care of it, as it is my only copy left out of 1000 - 990 of which, were burnt at Rolwegan the Bookbinders in Hobart Town!'. In 1990 the State Library of Tasmania purchased from a local historical society in Tasmania an unbound collection of sheets comprising pages 17-120. Signatures C-O are in their final printed form. Signature P is a proof with corrections in Kentish's hand. In total: Cantos 2 and 5 incomplete, and Cantos 3 and 4 complete.
  • The State Library of Tasmania acquired what is presumed to be the only surviving (although incomplete) copy, comprising Cantos 2 and 5 incomplete; Cantos 3 and 4 complete.
  • Advertised on the inside front cover of the South Australian Magazine, no. 3, September, 1841. 'In the Press. South Australia in 1839-40-41 in 2 vols 8vo by N. L. Kentish. Civil Engineer, late Government Surveyor in the Province, and in New South Wales; many years Editor of the Sydney Times and formerly Professor in the Royal Military College of England, Author of several Australian Works. The first volume consists of a Poem in five (or more) Cantos entitled "The Bush in South Australia, by [printer's hand] in the Bush" of which the third Canto includes a Colonial Opera containing thirteen Songs and a Glee. The second volume will consist of an honest description of the Territory ... treating chiefly of the Political Economy of this Province... Price to Subscribers 10s., payable by one shiling on delivery of each part ... publisher Southern Australian Office.'

    The advertisement seems not to have been repeated however not all original covers of the South Australian Magazine have been sighted.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 8 Oct 2014 13:25:49
  • South Australia,
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