# 3070

DOBSON, Rosemary (1920 - 2012)


$1,250.00 AUD

[Mittagong, N.S.W.] : Frensham Press, 1937. Duodecimo, papered boards with black cloth spine and red title label (lightly rubbed, but a very good copy), 27 pp (edges with very mild foxing), the personal copy of the journalist and author Rohan Rivett (1917-1977), inscribed on the title ‘Rohan Rivett from RD, Orontes Sept-Oct 1939‘. The rare first book by the renowned Sydney poet Rosemary Dobson, written when she was 17 and printed in an edition of 200 copies at the Frensham Press at Frensham School, which was set up by Joan Phipson and active from 1937 – 1940. The paper used to cover the boards is printed with an original linocut by the author, signed in monogram.

Rohan Rivett is best remembered for Behind Bamboo (Sydney, 1946), an account of his wartime experiences as a Japanese prisoner of war on the notorious Burma-Thailand railway, written in October-November 1945. Early in his career, in September 1939, Rohan Rivett had abandoned his studies at Oxford and returned to Australia on the Orontes. The inscription on the title page does not appear to be in Rosemary Dobson’s hand, which makes it seem likely the inscription was made by Rivett himself after arriving in Australia (hence the Sept-Oct date, rather than a specific day). The initials RD may also refer to Ruth Dobson (1918-1989), Rosemary’s elder sister. Ruth also attended Frensham School, and went on to a successful career as a diplomat.