Francis Adams was born in Malta and educated in England and France before tuberculosis compelled him to travel to Australia in 1884 for the good of his health. Adams worked as a journalist and tutor, finally settling in Brisbane where he wrote for the Brisbane Courier, William Lane's radical Boomerang and the Sydney Bulletin. He is best remembered for his radical collection of poetry, Songs of the Army of the Night (1888), which encouraged radicalism and spoke against the oppression of the poor by the privileged minority. He also published a number of prose works which closely analyse the future of democracy in Australia, contrasting the fertile coastal areas with the dry inland areas. To survive, Adams wrote many potboilers, but works such as John Webb's End (1891) and A Child of the Age (1894) have helped to sustain his reputation as an influential figure in late nineteenth century Australia.
Adams returned to England in 1890. Suffering from the effects of tuberculosis and throat cancer, he took his own life in 1893. Several of Adams' fictions were reprinted in the 1970s and 1990s, indicating the continued interest in his well-known work and the growing interest in forgotten works, such as Madeline Brown's Murderer (1887/2001). Meg Tasker's biography of Adams, Struggle and Storm, appeared in 2001.
David Boutland's parents John George Boutland, an electrical mechanic, and Gertrude Helen (nee Lucas), immigrated to Australia with their three children in 1951 under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme. After completing his schooling Boutland pursued a career as a freelance writer, and in 1960 returned to England with his wife Shirley. It was here that his science fiction short stories, written under the pseudonym 'David Rome', began to appear in such magazines as Science Fantasy, New Worlds Science Fiction, Pocket Man, Amazing, Galaxy and Science Fiction Adventures. Boutland's first story to be published in the UK was 'Time of Arrival' (New Worlds April 1961).
In addition to having his works published in science fiction magazines, Boutland also began submitting stories to a number of early 1960s anthologies, notably New Writings in SF, New Writings in Horror and the Supernatural, and The Second Pacific Book of Science Fiction. Steve Holland records in his Bear Alley blog that two of Boutland's stories were also selected by Judith Merril for her Annual of the Year's Best S-F anthologies. One of these, 'Parky,' first published in Science Fantasy in 1961, was later reprinted in The Best Australian Science Fiction Writing: A Fifty Year Collection (q.v.). Between 1964 and 1968 Boutland also contributed more than twenty storylines to the Commando, War Picture Library and Battle Picture Library comics.
Sometime around 1963/1964 Boutland returned to Australia and began writing pulp fiction novels, still under the David Rome pseudonym, for Sydney-based publisher Horwitz, including its Scripts imprint (qq.v.). The first Boutland/Rome novel to be published by Horwitz was Squat: Sexual Adventures on Other Planets in 1964. Squat was later awarded runner-up status at the third Australian Science Fiction Achievement Awards after being re-issued in 1971 by Scripts
While Boutland's output for Horwitz/Scripts as David Rome was largely popular fiction, he nevertheless continued to have his science fiction short stories published in such magazines as Man, Man Junior, Adam, Vision of Tomorrow and Galaxy Science Fiction. These appeared under the names David Rome or Richard Ansvar. In 1972, under his real name, he also wrote The Professional, a work on prostitution conceived and produced by Ron Smith.
By the early to mid-1970s Boutland had begun to turn his attention more towards writing for television, a career move which saw him contribute numerous scripts under his birth name during the next three decades. Among the best known series for which he contributed material are Homicide (1968-75), Division 4 (1969), Ryan (1973-74), Matlock Police (q.v., 1972-76), Rush (1974-76), Tandarra (1976), A County Practice (q.v., 1981-85), The Flying Doctors (1988), G.P. (1990-93), Halifax F.P. (1995-97), Stingers (1999), MDA (2002) and Blue Heelers (q.v., 1997-2003). Although he ended his fulltime career as a freelance television scriptwriter in the early to mid-2000s, David Boutland continues to write in his retirement.
[Some information in this entry has been sourced from Steve Holland].
Third of 11 children of Mark Albert Kennewell and his wife Dinah Ann (Adams), Myrtle Rose Kennewell was born in a tent 'during one of the worst dust storms ever seen in New South Wales', while her father was getting lost finding the midwife. She spent most of her childhood in the Barossa Valley, and completed her education at a small private school in Williamstown. At the age of 22 she was staying on a station near Broken Hill when she met her future husband, manager of a nearby station. From that time on she lived most of her life in the outback. She married Cornelius (Con) White in 1910. Her two sons were born during the seven years her husband was station manager at Lake Elder near Lake Frome in north east SA (the setting for No Roads Go By).
In 1922 they moved to the West Darling district, where Con managed a group of stations for Sir Sydney Kidman, including Wonnaminta Station, about 136 miles north of Broken Hill (the setting for Beyond the Western Rivers). Her book No Roads Go By is acclaimed as influencing John Flynn to maintain and extend the Flying Doctor Service to remote regions of Australia. When Con was forced to retire in 1938 they opened 'Cricklewood', a guest house in Aldgate. Con died 3 years later. Their son Garry was listed as missing in action in World War II, and the elder son Alan, a pilot, flew for 4 years in the Middle East and England and was twice decorated.
The White's daughter Doris and her husband Jim Chambers took over Wonnaminta Station in 1948, and Myrtle spent some time visiting them, and also travelled overseas with them. She assisted several orphanages in India. She died at Lalla Rookh Station, near Port Hedland, northern WA, while visiting her son Alan and family. Her wish was to be cremated and have half her ashes interred in her husband's grave in Adelaide and the other half returned to Wonnaminta in outback NSW. This caused some problems as the nearest crematorium was in Perth, 1,200 miles away. The family needed a coroner's certificate to take the body south of the 26th parallel because of an ancient Act due to fear of leprosy at the time, and the coroner was on circuit somewhere between Wittenoom Gorge and Onslow.
In addition, an autopsy had to be conducted before the body could be taken south. The local carpenter/plumber made a casket but the airline had no freight plane to take it in, so Myrtle's son Alan and the Shire Clerk drove it all the way to Perth as quickly as they could in a Combi van, driving through temperatures of 120 degrees in the shade. They caught up with the coroner on the way and had the papers signed. It took them seventy-two hours. On the way the casket split, and they had to have it repaired at Carnarvon. Alan said afterwards that his mother would have enjoyed all the drama - 'it was typical of the way she'd have wanted to go' [personal communication]. Before her death she had been working on another novel, Come With Me, a story of the adventures she and her son-in-law and daughter had experienced on a recent trip abroad.
Andrea Bresciani was born in the former Slovenian town of Tolmin, which, after World War I, was renamed Tolmino and absorbed into the Italian province of Gorizia. Bresciani began his career as a commercial artist in Milan, designing furniture for a local architect. Upon reading a discarded comic book on a train shortly after World War II, Bresciani decided to seek additional work as a comic-book artist. After spending three months preparing a folio of comic-book illustrations, Bresciani secured employment as an artist with the publisher Edizioni Alpe (Milan).
Throughout 1945-1950, Bresciani worked for several Italian comic-book publishers, illustrating adventure serials for the cheap 'piccolo' (pocket-sized) comics that flourished in Italy and elsewhere in Europe after the war. Amongst Bresciani's best-known works from this period were Geky Dor and Tony Falco.
Bresciani migrated to Australia ca.1950, arriving in Perth and settling in Sydney in 1951. He initially worked for Atlas Publications (q.v.), illustrating stories for Squire: A Man's Magazine and producing innumerable covers for pulp fiction magazines (see Badlands Western - The Right Fork) and comic books (e.g., Flynn of the FBI and The Wraith). Bresciani occasionally drew entire issues of comic books for Atlas Publications, including Sergeant Pat of the Radio Patrol and The Ghost Rider.
With the closure of Atlas Publications in the late 1950s, Bresciani became a freelance illustrator for K. G. Murray (q.v.), contributing artwork to various men's magazines, including Man, Adam, and Pocket Man. Bresciani also drew several issues of The Adventures of Smoky Dawson (Colour Comics Pty Ltd, ca.1960), portraying the Australian country-and-western singer Smoky Dawson (q.v.) in fictional adventures. The series was previously drawn by Albert De Vine, who originally developed the comic as a newspaper feature for the Sydney Sun (ca.1959).
Bresciani remains best known for his work on the Australian comic strip Frontiers of Science, which he illustrated throughout 1961-1970. Conceived as an educational series by Professor Stuart Butler (University of Sydney) and written by journalist and filmmaker Bob Raymond, Frontiers of Science debuted in the Sydney Morning Herald and was syndicated to 200 newspapers worldwide.
Bresciani returned to Europe in the early 1970s, initially working as a comic-book artist for various Spanish and German publishers, before embarking on a new career as a production designer and layout artist on animated cartoons. Bresciani returned to Sydney in the early 1980s, working for Hanna-Barbera Productions' Australian studio. In 1981, Bresciani relocated to Manila. Establishing an animation studio for Marvel Productions, he worked on the television series Defenders of the Earth (1986). Returning to Australia, Bresciani continued working as a layout supervisor and animation director on animated feature films and television series until the late 1990s. In his retirement, Bresciani devoted himself to creating sculptures of horses, which were in great demand in Japan, France, and the United States.