Memoirs of Halbert Deinham single work   novella  
Issue Details: First known date: 1868... 1868 Memoirs of Halbert Deinham
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'This tale opens on a ship voyaging to Australia. The narrator soon introduces two passengers, the beautiful Esther Barville and her sister, Jessie. Esther attempts to warn Jessie away from the adventurer, Edgar Normard, but she heeds not. Esther and the narrator become friends when he risks his life to help save a sailor overboard. The friendship continues in Melbourne where Normard becoming heavily involved in gambling. When the sisters' father is murdered they sell up and go to live in the country with Normard, their manager, still hoping to marry Jessie. Esther and Cecil (the narrator) survive a night lost in the bush and prevent Jessie eloping with H. Eventually she succeeds and the tale ends.

'(There is an interesting comparison of the lot of the aboriginal and "civilised" woman in the final instalment.)' (PB)


  • The first three serialised instalments of 'Memoirs of Halbert Deinham' include a different epigraph. They are as follows:

    • Instalment one: 'To me the meanest flower that blows can give/ Thoughts that too often lie too deep for tears.' – Wordsworth
    • Instalment two: Though all the budding hopes of life/ That clustered round and round,/ Are lying now, like withered blooms/ Forsaken on the ground.' – Kendall (New South Wales)
    • Instalment three: 'The soul, regretting foundered bliss,/ Amid the wreck of years,/ Hath mourned it with intensity/ Too deep for human tears;/ Since those that once have trampled down/ Affection's early claim/ Have lost a peace they need not hope/ To find on earth again.' – Kendall (New South Wales)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1868
Serialised by: The Australian Journal 1865 periodical (901 issues)
Serialised in the Australian Journal in five weekly instalments between 8 February and 7 March 1868.
Last amended 3 Sep 2014 15:53:14
  • At sea,
  • Melbourne, Victoria,
  • Victoria,
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