yThe Glugs of GoshC. J. Dennis,
Sydney:Angus and Robertson,1917Z8556321917selected work poetry humour satire The Glugs of Gosh was C. J. Dennis' fourth book and his third with illustrator Hal Gye and publishers Angus and Robertson. It was published shortly before Doreen the miniature sequel to The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, which had been dashed off for marketing as a Christmas gift in late 1917. The Glugs of Gosh, however, not only abandoned the vernacular idiom of Dennis' 'Sentimental Bloke' works, it also carried a very different message. With his invented race of 'Glugs' who inhabited the mythical land of 'Gosh', Dennis created a sly satire on social conformity, intellectual cowardice, and incompetent governance. But as Philip Butterss points out, the simple style of the work is also highly reminiscent of Dennis' verse for children.
According to Dennis' wife, The Glugs of Gosh had originated as verse penned to 'amuse' Barry Roberts, the younger son of Dennis' friends and patrons, Garry and Roberta Roberts. The Roberts' presentation copy of the eventual work is annotated 'B. J. Roberts - Sep. 1917 / For whom 'Joi the Glug' was written on 23.6.1914'. In 1915, Dennis saw fit to expand the idea for a wider audience. Six of the thirteen poems in The Glugs of Gosh (and part of a seventh), were published in the Bulletin, the first being 'Joi, the Glug', which appeared on 3 June 1915.
After the extraordinary success of The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke, Angus and Robertson were evidently keen to test the limits of Dennis' popularity, and he was commissioned to expand his 'Glugs' series as a book. Dennis' wife wrote that the couple were married (July 1917) after the completion of the book, and that shortly thereafter they travelled to Sydney and met Dennis' publisher George Robertson, and The Glugs of Gosh went to press. Dennis dedicated the work to his wife.
Angus and Robertson published The Glugs of Gosh in a variety of different editions. The ordinary edition was priced at Four Shillings, as was the 'Pocket Edition for the Trenches' - which hoped to capitalise on the wartime popularity of Dennis' earlier works. The Glugs of Gosh was not a commercial success, however. The deluxe 'Blue Wren' edition initially published by Angus and Robertson at Seven Shillings and Sixpence was eventually remaindered at Sixpence a copy, and an edition that had been advertised for publication in North America (as The Stones of Gosh) was apparently never issued. In 1974, an abridged version of The Glugs of Gosh, containing two poems from the original work arranged as a continuous narrative, was published as a children's book.