Here Clarke presents a series of rambling and mostly light-hearted essays, on a range of often obscure, even trivial, literary subjects.
Clarke's title for the series draws on the Classical idea of the country retreat, hence he begins each essay with a 'motto', taken from Horace (Sat. II., 6.) : 'Nunc veterum libris, nunc somno et inertibus horis / Ducere solicitae iucunda oblivia vitae'.
Whilst Clarke appears to have written the series specifically for the Queenslander, it nevertheless contains a good deal of recycled material.