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y separately published work icon All About Books periodical  
Alternative title: All About Books for Australian and New Zealand Readers
Issue Details: First known date: 1928... 1928 All About Books
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

In 1921, D. W. Thorpe left a well-paid job as manager of a paper and stationery business to found The Australian Stationery and Fancy Goods Journal. By 1928 he was aware that publishers did not like their book advertisements surrounded by stationery news, and so established All About Books for Australian and New Zealand Readers as a supplement to the trade journal and a separate publication for general readers.

In the inaugural editorial Thorpe declared that the journal aimed to provide 'information rather than criticism', laying 'no claim to literary distinction'. Nevertheless, Thorpe engaged a number of significant critics to provide reviews and articles. These included G. H. Cowling, Nettie Palmer and Frederick Macartney. Cowling and others commented on a broad range of literary topics from Australia and overseas, including topics such as modernism in poetry and fiction, and profiles of significant overseas authors. Palmer and Macartney, in consecutive periods, concentrated on Australian literature in a monthly column. A monthly short story was published until the early 1930s. The most distinguished contributors of fiction were E. J. Brady and Furnley Maurice. The journal also included regular columns that reported on bestsellers in overseas markets, overseas reception of Australian literature and the activities of local literary societies.

Thorpe was primarily interested in the book trade, which attracted some criticism from potential contributors. A passage in Nettie Palmer's correspondence portrays Thorpe as an editor who frequently 'confused literature with bookselling'. Nevertheless, his journal provided one of the few places where significant commentary on books and authors could be found during the 1930s.

In January 1934 Thorpe entered into a formal agreement with the Australian Literature Society. Membership of the Society would include a subscription to All About Books in which meeting announcements would appear exclusively. The A.L.S. Monthly Prize Review for a review of a new Australian book would be open to Society members only.

When booksellers began to withdraw their advertising during the depression, Thorpe found it hard to maintain All About Books for Australian and New Zealand Readers. In May 1938, he announced to subscribers that production would be suspended until conditions improved. Although Thorpe's other publications continued in various forms as he built a large publishing company, All About Books for Australian and New Zealand Readers remained closed except for a brief revival in 1961.

Notes

  • "Revived" briefly in 1961 as All About Books.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

'Some Means of Learning of the Best New Books' : All About Books and the Modern Reader David Carter , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 22 no. 3 2006; (p. 329-341) Always Almost Modern : Australian Print Cultures and Modernity 2013; (p. 153-166)
The article proposes a rethinking of the notion of the middle-brow in terms of the proliferation of 'new books' in the interwar period, through an analysis of the review journal All About Books.
y separately published work icon A Life of Books : The Story of D.W. Thorpe Pty. Ltd. 1921-1987 Joyce Nicholson , Daniel Wrixon Thorpe , Middle Park : Courtyard Press , 2000 Z862404 2000 single work biography
The Little Magazines Frederick T. Macartney , 1949 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , Summer vol. 8 no. 4 1949; (p. 242-243)
The Australian Literature Society, Melbourne [Meeting Report] Doris Hayball , 1934 single work column
— Appears in: All About Books , 15 January vol. 6 no. 1 1934; (p. 20)
We Turn Six Daniel Wrixon Thorpe , 1934 single work prose
— Appears in: All About Books , 15 January vol. 6 no. 1 1934; (p. 3)
Introduction 1928 single work prose
— Appears in: All About Books , 14 December vol. 1 no. 1 1928; (p. 1)
This is a short statement of intent for the periodical.
Annual Report 1929 E. C. Davidson , 1930 single work column
— Appears in: All About Books , 17 March vol. 2 no. 3 1930; (p. 60)
Davidson in her capacity as secretary reports on the Society's activity for the year. Includes acknowledgement of increase in membership due to exposure in All About Books.
'Some Means of Learning of the Best New Books' : All About Books and the Modern Reader David Carter , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 22 no. 3 2006; (p. 329-341) Always Almost Modern : Australian Print Cultures and Modernity 2013; (p. 153-166)
The article proposes a rethinking of the notion of the middle-brow in terms of the proliferation of 'new books' in the interwar period, through an analysis of the review journal All About Books.
We Turn Six Daniel Wrixon Thorpe , 1934 single work prose
— Appears in: All About Books , 15 January vol. 6 no. 1 1934; (p. 3)
The Australian Literature Society, Melbourne [Meeting Report] Doris Hayball , 1934 single work column
— Appears in: All About Books , 15 January vol. 6 no. 1 1934; (p. 20)

PeriodicalNewspaper Details

Frequency:
Monthly
Range:
1928-1938; Vol. 1, no. 1 (Dec. 14, 1928)-[vol. 10, no. 2] (Mar. 16, 1938)
Size:
28cm; app 30 pages
Price:
Sixpence (1928-1930); threepence (1930-1938)
Last amended 6 Jan 2009 11:57:41
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