# 33008

ABBOTT, J. H. M. (John Henry Macartney) (1874-1953)

An outlander in England : being some impressions of an Australian abroad. (Presentation copy, and with an ALS by the author)

$100.00 AUD

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London : Methuen & Co., 1905. Second edition. Octavo, publisher’s gilt-lettered red cloth over boards (damp staining to boards, pastedowns and endpapers); a presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free-endpaper for the Governor of Pentonville Prison ‘To Major O. E. M. Davies, with best wishes from the Author, J. H. M. Abbott, August, 1908’; pp xiv, 296, 40 (publisher’s catalogue, July 1907); although the condition of the book could only be rated as poor, loosely inserted is an interesting 4-page holograph letter (in fine condition) signed in full by Abbott to Major Davies at Pentonville, commenting in detail about his book, England, and prisons: ‘it was a strange experience for me’, writes Abbott about his observations of confinement, suggesting the benefits of ‘soldiering in comparison’, and asking Davies whether he should approach the Home Office in order to gain access to other such institutions.

‘J. H. M. Abbott (1874 – 1953) was an Australian novelist and poet who was born in Haydonton, Murrurundi, New South Wales in 1874. He was the eldest son of son of (Sir) Joseph Palmer Abbott and his first wife Matilda Elizabeth, née Macartney. He was educated at The King’s School, Parramatta and then attended classes at the University of Sydney before returning to the family property to work as a jackaroo. He published his first verse in The Bulletin in 1897. In January 1900 he left Australia for the Boer War where he served as a corporal in the 1st Australian Horse, and later as a second lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery, but was invalided back to Australia in October 1900. He utilised his experiences in the war to write Tommy Cornstalk (1902), the success of which convinced him to move to London to work as a journalist. He returned to Australia in 1909 and worked for the next 40 years as a writer of novels, poetry and prose pieces for various newspapers and periodicals….’