State Library of Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 28 October 1981

101

Checklist of Henry Lawson Manuscripts in the Lothian Collection

This is a detailed checklist of the Henry Lawson manuscripts in the Lothian Papers, held in the Australian Manuscripts Collection of the La Trobe Library as MS6026. It includes correspondence and Lawson's literary manuscripts. It excludes minor Lawson scraps and fragments, and the few literary sketches by Bertha Lawson which also form part of this collection.
The compilers of this issue of the La Trobe Library journal are indebted to the pioneering work of Colin Roderick's editions of Henry Lawson. Collected verse, 3 vols., (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1967–9) and his Memorial Edition of Henry Lawson. Collected prose, 2 vols., (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1972), which has been used as a standard text against which to check variants. Therefore, when a manuscript is noted as having variants, whether of a minor or significant nature, it varies from the text in Roderick's editions of poetry and prose. Considerable reference has also been made to Walter Stone's valuable bibliography Henry Lawson: a chronological checklist of his contributions to the “Bulletin”, 1887–1924, 2nd ed. (Sydney: Wentworth Press, 1964). Where the Lawson literary manuscripts in the Lothian Papers have been found to have no counterpart in either of these sources it has been assumed that the manuscript has never been published. It is in the considerable number of such pieces that the signficance of this collection lies. Four items from Roderick's list of “[Prose] Compositions Unavailable” (Collected prose, 2, p.376) are included in the collection, and in total there are 12 poems and 11 prose sketches, of varying length and completeness, for which no published reference can be found. Unfortunately many of these unpublished pieces are incomplete, and some appear to have been deliberately censored. For the latter see the untitled prose sketch which is set in a hospital after the narrator has fallen, perhaps deliberately, from a cliff and broken his ankle and suffered minor head injuries (see Introduction for a description of Lawson's own “fall”).
For brevity and convenience citations of Roderick's collected editions of verse and prose have been limited to relevant volume and page number. In the description of each item a reference to “minor variants” indicates trifling differences in punctuation, spelling and capitalisation, “variants” indicates word differences up to single lines, and “significant variants” indicates continual differences in lines, stanza order and the presence of whole extra or different stanzas. In the case of the prose, variants refer mainly to the length of the piece. Generally the prose pieces in the Lothian Papers are significantly longer than any published versions, some of them exhibiting the stringent editorial penwork of Frank Fox, who worked as an editor on the Bulletin, and became first editor of the Lone Hand.
Unless otherwise noted manuscripts are in Lawson's handwriting.

Poetry Manuscripts

  • “A Banquet of Stinking Shanks.” (Not in Roderick.) 3 drafts.
    • (i) 4pp., undated. (Has pencilled note in upper left hand corner of first page, “unpublished”.)
    • (ii) 3pp., variant title “A Banquet of Stinking Fish”, undated, incomplete.
    • (iii) 1p., undated, incomplete.
    102
    103
  • Variants between drafts.
  • “Across the Darkening Harbour”. Not in Roderick (however, see Roderick, 3, 35 “Above Lavender Bay”).
  • 1p., undated, incomplete.
  • “Above Crow's Nest.” (Roderick, 2, 185–6).
  • 2pp., untitled, undated, incomplete.
  • “Australian Tweed/The Newer Things at Home/A Song of Australian Tweed”. (Not in Roderick.)
  • 4 drafts.
    • (i) 2pp., titled “Australian Tweed”, signed and dated Sydney March 1906.
    • (ii) 5pp., titled “The Newer Things at Home/A Song of Australian Tweed”, undated.
    • (iii) 4pp., typescript, titled “The Newer Things at Home/A Song of Australian Clothes”, undated.
    • (iv) 2pp., undated, incomplete.
  • Variants between drafts.
  • “A Dan Yell.” (Roderick, 2, 226–7.)
  • 1p., untitled, undated, incomplete.
  • Variants.
  • “Brother, You'll Take My Hand.” (Roderick, 2, 48–51.)
  • 2pp., untitled, undated, incomplete.
  • Variants.
  • “Bush Hay.” (Roderick, 2, 200–1.)
  • 1p., undated, incomplete.
  • Significant variants.
  • “The Cab Lamps or, From the Lane of ‘Loo.” (Roderick, 2, 228–9.)
  • 2pp., undated.
  • Variants.
  • “The Damanreadabook.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 2pp., undated.
  • “[Dan Fitzgerald].” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 1p., untitled, undated, incomplete?
  • “The Gathering of the Brown-Eyed.” (Roderick, 2, 203–4.)
  • 3 drafts.
    • (i) 1p., titled “The Brown Eyed of the White”, undated, incomplete.
      Significant variants.
    • (ii) 2pp., typescript, titled “The Brown Eyed of the White”, undated.
      Variants.
    • (iii) 1p., untitled, undated, incomplete.
      Variants.
  • “Gold in Their Teeth.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 1p. and 1p. printed (related press cutting), undated.
  • “Gipsy Too.” (Roderick, 2, 27–8.)
  • 1p., titled “Gypsy Too”, undated, incomplete.
  • Variants.
  • “I'm An Older Man Than You.” (Roderick, 2, 232.)
  • 2pp., signed and dated Sydney November 1906.
  • Significant variants.
  • “Johnson's Wonder.” (Roderick, 2, 199–200.)
  • 3pp., undated, incomplete.
  • Variants.
  • “Joseph's Dreams and Reuben's Bretheren.” (Roderick, 2, 94–119.)
  • 4 drafts.
    • (i) 39pp., signed and dated November 1904 and February 1906, incomplete.
      Significant variants.
    • (ii) 22pp., undated, incomplete.
      Variants.
    • (iii) 6pp., typescript, undated, incomplete.
      Variants.
    • (iv) 1p., undated, incomplete.
      Minor variants.
      Also design for title page stating poem to be illustrated by Norman Lindsay.
  • “Keeping His First Wife Now.” (Roderick, 2, 176–8.)
  • 2 drafts.
    • (i) 2pp., undated, incomplete.
      Significant variants.
    • (ii) 1p., undated, incomplete.
      Variants.
  • “Lawson's Fall.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 1p., undated, incomplete.
  • “The Little Native Rose.” (Roderick, 2, 219–20.)
  • 3 drafts.
    • (i) 1p., signed and dated Sydney December 1910.
      Variants.
    • (ii) 1p., typescript (carbon copy), signed and dated Sydney December 1910.
      Minor variants.
    • (iii) ditto.
  • “My Father-In-Law and I.” (Roderick, 2, 174.)
  • 2 drafts.
    • (i) 1p., signed and dated Sydney November 1906.
      Variants.
    • (ii) 1p., undated.
      Variants.
  • “The Newer Things At Home.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 5pp., undated.
  • “The Old Creed” see “The Something That Never Comes.”
  • “Our Mistress and Our Queen.” (Roderick, 2, 205–10.)
  • 3 drafts.
    • (i) 7pp., signed and dated December 1906, incomplete.
      Variants.
    • (ii) 1p., incomplete.
      Variants.
    • (iii) 1p., incomplete.
      Variants.
  • “Patriotism.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 1p., undated, incomplete.
  • “The Peace Maker.” (See Roderick, 2, 172–3.)
  • 2pp., undated, incomplete.
  • Variants.
  • “The Rifle In Green Baize.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 1p., undated, incomplete.
  • “The Rush To London.” (Roderick, 1, 386.)
  • 1p., undated.
  • Minor variants.
  • “Sayonara.” (Roderick, 2, 335.)
  • 1p., undated.
  • Variants.
  • “The Sea Children Of The Sea.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 2 drafts.
    • (i) 1p., undated.
    • (ii) 1p., typescript, undated.
  • “Sequel Good Samaritan.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 2pp., undated, incomplete.
  • “Since The Cities Are The Cities.” (Roderick, 2, 186–7.)
  • 2 drafts.
    • (i) 4pp., undated.
      Significant variants.
    • (ii) 1p., undated, incomplete.
      Variants.
  • “The Something That Never Comes.” (Roderick, 2, 364.)
  • 1p., titled “The Old Creed”, undated.
  • Variants.
  • “The Song Of The Back to Front.” (Roderick, 2, 239–41.)
  • 3 drafts.
    • (i) 1p., titled “The Song of the Weeds”, undated, incomplete.
      Variants.
    • (ii) 3pp., undated, incomplete.
      Significant Variants.
    • (iii) 1p., undated, incomplete.
      Variants.
  • “The Sorrows Of A Simple Bard.” (Roderick, 2, 232–3.)
  • 3pp., undated.
  • Variants.
  • “The Spirits of Our Fathers.” (Roderick, 2, 188–9.)
  • 2 drafts.
    • (i) 4pp., undated.
      Variants.
    • (ii) 1p., undated, incomplete.
      Minor variants.
  • “The Stranded Ship.” (Roderick, 2, 178–9.)
  • 2 drafts.
    • (i) 2pp., untitled, undated, incomplete.
      Variants.
    • (ii) 2pp. typescript (carbon copy), undated.
      Minor variants.
  • “Take It Fighting (The Fighting Chance).” (Roderick, 2, 228.)
  • 3 drafts.
    • (i) 1p. typescript (carbon copy), undated.
      Minor variants.
    • (ii) Ditto.
    • (iii) Ditto.
  • “That Great Waiting Silence.” (Roderick, 2, 156.)
  • 2pp., untitled, undated, incomplete.
  • Significant variants.
  • “To Be Amused.” (Roderick, 2, 221–3.)
  • 3pp., undated.
  • Significant variants.
  • “The Wantaritencant.” (Roderick, 2, 198.)
  • 2pp., undated.
  • Significant variants.
  • “When Hopes Ran High.” (Roderick, 2, 220.)
  • 3 drafts.
    • (i) 1p., signed and dated September 1910.
      Minor variants.
    • (ii) 1p. typescript (carbon copy), signed and dated Sydney September 1910.
      Minor variants.
    • (iii) Ditto.
  • “Who'll Wear The Beaten Colours?” (Roderick, 2, 195–6.)
  • 3 drafts.
    • (i) 1p., undated, incomplete.
      Significant variants.
    • (ii) 2pp., untitled, undated, incomplete.
      Significant variants.
    • (iii) 1p., untitled, undated, incomplete.
      Minor variants.
  • “William Street.” (Roderick, 2, 20–1.)
  • 2pp., undated.
  • Variants.
  • For Australia
  • Mock up of For Australia (Melbourne: Standard Publishing Co., 1913), includes deleted verse.
  • 105pp., original ms., typescript and newspaper paste-up.

Prose Manuscripts

  • “A Child In the Dark.” (Roderick, 1, 680–5.)
    104
  • 47pp., signed and dated Sydney October 1902.
  • Significant variants.
  • “A Bluff That Failed.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 11pp., incomplete.
  • (Note: upper right hand of first page dated 6/9/97. probably the date mss. was received by Angus and Robertson.)
  • “A Fragment of Autobiography.” (Roderick, 2, 173–214.)
  • 43pp., original ms. and typescript, titled “Notes For Autobiography”, undated, incomplete.
  • Variants.
  • “A Stroll To The Strand.” (Roderick, 2, 164–6.)
  • 62pp., titled “From Highbury Crescent to Chancery Lane”, dated and signed Sydney August 1902.
  • Significant variants.
  • “The Australian Writer.” (Roderick, 2, 116–18.)
  • 8pp., typescript, titled “The Birth Of Culture In A New Land/The Birth Of Culture In A New Country — An Anti-Something By Henry Lawson/A Reply By Henry Lawson”, undated.
  • Significant variants.
  • “The Birth Of Culture.” See “The Australian Writer.”
  • “The ‘Britishah’ Abroad.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 3pp., undated.
  • “[Dan O'Connor]” (Not in Roderick, possibly meant as a Bulletin paragraph.)
  • 2pp., undated.
  • “De Rougement And Us And Some Digressions.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 6pp., typescript, undated [c. 1899].
  • “The Doodle-Do Club.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 33pp., undated, incomplete.
  • “The Editor Of The Comet.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 75pp., undated [March 1907], incomplete.
  • “Graveside And Gayside Memories.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 51pp., undated.
  • “The Great Flood Of ‘90.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 3pp., undated.
  • “If I Could Paint.” (Roderick, 2, 36–40.)
  • 9pp. typescript, undated.
  • Significant variants.
  • “King Billy.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 2 drafts.
    • (i) 16pp. typescript, undated.
    • (ii) 14pp. carbon copy, undated, incomplete.
      cf. Roderick, 1, 254–7, “Black Joe” for a fictionalised account of one section of “King Billy”.
  • “Letter To Jack Cornstalk: From An Australian in London.” (Roderick, 2, 141–164.)
  • 33pp. typescript, undated, incomplete.
  • Variants.
  • “Lost And Long Ago” see “Thin Lips And False Teeth.”
  • “Mateship.” (Roderick, 1, 724–9.)
  • 21pp. typescript, titled “Mateship And The Hearts
  • Of One Or Two Women”, undated.
  • Significant variants.
  • “Mateship And The Hearts Of One Or Two Women” see “Mateship.”
  • “The Old Men's Home.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 16pp., undated, incomplete.
  • “Succeeding: A Sequel To Pursuing Literature.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 38pp., undated, incomplete.
  • “The Stranger's Friend.” (Roderick, 1, 729–34.)
  • 13pp. typescript, undated.
  • Significant variants.
  • “Thin Lips And False Teeth.” (Roderick, 1, 239–43.)
  • 3pp. printed (from Worker, 10 November 1894). titled
  • “Lost And Long Ago”.
  • Variants.
  • “To Other Men And I.” (Not in Roderick, a letter to the Bulletin.)
  • 1p., undated.
  • “Triangles of Life.” (Roderick, 1, 621–59.)
  • 88pp., undated, incomplete.
  • Significant variants.
  • Unidentified (Not in Roderick.)
  • Drafts of a sketch about London and London life.
  • 28pp., untitled, undated [c. 1902], incomplete.
  • cf. “From Highbury Crescent To Chancery Lane.”
  • Draft of a sketch set in hospital, after the narrator has fallen over a cliff and broken his ankle.
  • 39pp., untitled, undated [c. 1903], incomplete.
  • cf. Roderick, 1, 619–21. “In Hospital.”
  • Fragments
  • “Mitchell On Dogs.” (Not in Roderick.)
  • 1p., undated.
  • “Joe Wilson's Courtship.” (Roderick, 1, 537–55.)
  • 2pp., typescript, undated.

Correspondence

From Henry Lawson to:
  • Angus & Robertson
  • 1 letter, 11 December 1898, 1p. typescript (carbon copy).
  • Archibald, J. F.
  • 1 letter, 10 November 1906, 1p. (incomplete.) Lawson, Bertha
  • 1 letter, n.d. [c. 1902–3?], 2pp.
  • Lothian, Thomas C.
  • 11 letters, 6 March 1907–[6 July 1910], 23pp., orig. ms. and typescript.
  • Reynolds, Mrs.
  • 2 letters (1 incomplete), n.d., 2pp.
To Henry Lawson from:
  • Angus and Robertson
  • 2 letters, 8 February 1897 and 17 December 1902, 3pp.
  • Butler, Harry
  • 1 letter, 26 March 1906, 4pp.
  • Costello, Denis
  • 1 letter, 1 November ?, 5pp.
  • Elphinstone, James C.
  • 1 letter, 4 June 1903, 1p.
  • Fox, Frank
  • 1 letter, n.d. [September 1907], 1p.
  • (Note written over letter Lothian to Lawson, 24 September 1907.)
  • Lawson, Bertha
  • 9 letters, [December 1902]-6 October 1906, 31pp.
  • Lawson, Bertha (daughter)
  • birthday card, 16 June 1903
  • Lawson, Jim (Joseph Henry, son)
  • birthday card, 16 June 1903.
  • Lothian, Thomas C.
  • 11 letters, 7 March 1907–5 December 1907, 11pp. orig. ms. and typescript (carbon copies).
  • Pinker, James B.
  • 1 letter, 13 February 1903, 1p.
  • Scott, Rose
  • 2 letters (1 incomplete), 10 March 1899 and n.d., 6pp.
  • Sun (Kalgoorlie)
  • 2 letters and 1 telegram, 4 December 1902–10 March 1903, 4pp.
  • Sydney morning herald
  • 1 letter, 2 August 1902, 1p.
  • Thompson, P.
  • 1 letter, n.d., 1p.
  • Town and country journal 1 letter, 21 January 1902, 1p. typescript.
  • Victor Daley Memorial Committee
  • 1 letter, 17 March 1906, 1p. typescript.
  • Young, James Carleton
  • 1 letter, 6 May 1906, 2pp.
  • Unidentified “A Toiler”
  • 1 letter, 13 June 1906, 1p.
  • Unidentified “Dad”
  • 1 letter, 23 December 1903, 4pp.

Other correspondence:

  • J. F. Archibald to?
  • 1 letter, 28 October 1898, 1p.
  • L. Moses to Bertha Lawson
  • 1 letter, n.d. [c. December 1902], 3pp.
  • Rose Myatt to Ernest Myatt
  • 1 letter, 29 July 1895, 2pp.

Other Material

Title page for “Classics In The Bush: Diogenes A Yarn of Ancient Greece”. Note Lawson has written on it “Not in Book. May be Published at any time.” 1p., and typescript.
Memorandum of Agreement between Henry Lawson and James Brand Pinker, 13 July 1900. 2pp. typescript, signed by Pinker.
Summons — — — issued to Henry Lawson, 6 December 1902.
Maintenance order issued to Henry Lawson, 31 December 1902.
Account from David Syme & Co., 1902, 1p.
Account from James Pinker, London, 11 February 1903, 1p.
Receipts for alimony paid by Henry Lawson, 25 May-27 July 1903, 10 receipts.
Rent receipt, 28 March 1903.
Receipt for purchase of sewing machine, 4 July 1900.
Address/Account book(?)