Guide to the Papers of C J Dennis and Hal Gye


MS 6480

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Chaplin, Harry F.
Collection of papers of C. J. Dennis and Hal Gye
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 6480
2.7 metres (10 boxes + 4 folio boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia
This finding aid was revised and published with the assistance of the Ray Mathew and Eva Kollsman Trust.


Scope and Contents

Collection of books, manuscripts and papers of C.J. Dennis and Hal Gye assembled by Harry Chaplin. They include typescripts and manuscript drafts of The Glugs of Gosh, notes by Gye on the frontispiece of Backblock ballads and later verses , an album of letters and photographs entitled 'Early life in Auburn and Laura' relating to Dennis' early life in South Australia, typescript poems by Dennis, an album of photographs and drawings of Dennis and Gye, letters of Dennis, and correspondence between Gye and Chaplin. There are also some notes by Hugh McCrae and letters of Sir John Monash, John Masefield, T. Inglis Moore, Dame Mary Gilmore and Olive Dennis.

The collection was listed by Harry Chaplin prior to the collection being purchased by the Library. Items not contained in the manuscript boxes have been placed in the stacks with other printed Australian material. This has only occurred in the case of published items containing no annotations, or having no unusual features.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of C J Dennis and Hal Gye, National Library of Australia, MS 6480, [series/file number]'.


The collection was purchased from Harry Chaplin in 1981.

Other papers of C.J. Dennis are at MS 78 (collected by R.H. Croll), MS 75/21 (A.G. Stephens Papers) and MS 534 (George Mackaness Collection).


The collection was organised and item numbered by Harry Chaplin before transfer to the Library.

Mr Chaplin wrote a Foreward about this collection:

"I am not a 'completist', and in collecting the work of various writers and poets I have been content to acquire a good representative range of the author's books, his first editions, inscribed and presentation copies rounded off by autograph letters and manuscripts. I see no good reason for collecting reprints or ephemera, unless they have some special feature that warrants their inclusion. So with C.J. Dennis and Hal Gye I have described in the following pages what I consider fulfils these requirements.

Much has been written about C.J. Dennis and deservedly so, for judging by the sales of his books both here and abroad he must have been Australia's most popular verse writer. Little has been written about Hal Gye, but would The sentimental bloke have reached its phenomenal sales (into the hundreds of thousands) if it had not been decorated with Hal Gye's whimsical drawings. In fact Gye is inseparable from Dennis. He stands with him in the same relationship as did 'Phiz' (Hablot K. Browne) to Charles Dickens. I was fortunate in enjoying the friendship of Hal, and he has enhanced the interest of my various books by extra-illustrations, and long annotations, the latter adding much of bibliographical and biographical value.

Hal Gye was born in New South Wales and descends from a French Huguenot family which traces back to 1600. One of his ancestors was the Director of the Covent Garden Opera House in London where he is remembered by a statue. After the period of the Dennis books Hal developed his literary skill under the pseudonym of 'James Hackston'. He wrote me once that in his reading of Chaucer he came across the line 'didst wear a gyes' with against the word 'gyes' an asterisk. At the bottom of the page he discovered that to wear a gyes was to wear a mask or disguise. He further wrote: 'This revelation as to the past of my forefathers gave me a great thrill for, to have a name that meant a mask or disguise suggested dark doings in the past, and strangely enough although in a more modified form seemed to fit in with my own nature as the years unfolded'. Hence the adoption of the pseudonym of 'James Hackston' taken from the name of an old deceased family friend.

For many years Hal contributed both poetry and prose to the Bulletin and other journals. For years Bill FitzHenry, one of the Bulletin sub-editors wrote solemn letters to Hal, quite unaware that he was addressing his old pal. It was a pleasant little deception enjoyed by those in the know. Eventually his identity was disclosed when the journal wanted some biographical particulars for a Jubilee issue from all its contributors. Hal is represented in this collection by many manuscripts both of poetry and short stories.

This description of my Dennis-Gye collection was compiled many years ago, but it was considered of insufficient general interest to warrant the expense of publication. It is not a bibliography and follows the format of other of the catalogues of my specialised collections which have appeared from time to time. For record purposes only I have decided to issue a small edition of which no copies will be for sale.

I am grateful to Mr Neville Gye for permission to quote extracts from his father's writings."

Biographical Note

C.J Dennis (1876-1938)

Clarence Michael James Dennis was born on 7 September 1876 in Auburn, SA and educated at Gladstone Primary School, St Aloysius College, Sevenhill, and Christian Brothers' College, Adelaide.

He joined the Adelaide Critic as a journalist in 1898 for a year, returning in 1901 and becoming editor in 1904. In 1906 he founded the satirical journal Gadfly, contributing items of verse and prose until his departure for Melbourne in 1907. In 1908 he turned to freelance journalism, later moving to Toolangi in Victoria with the artist Hal Waugh where he worked on writing verse. He married Olive Harriet in 1917.

His publications include Backblock ballads and other verses (1913), The songs of a sentimental bloke (illustrated by Hal Gye, 1915), The moods of Ginger Mick (1916), The Glugs of Gosh (1917), Doreen (1917), Digger Smith (1918), Jim of the hills (1919), A book for kids (1921) and The singing garden (1935).

In 1922 Dennis joined the literary staff of the Melbourne Herald, writing a daily column of verse and prose. He died in Melbourne on 22 June 1938.

Biographical Note

Hal Gye (1888-1967)

Harold Frederick Neville Gye was born in Ryde, Sydney on 22 May 1888. Initially a law clerk in Melbourne, he became an artist and writer. Gye contributed political cartoons, caricatures and other illustrations to numerous newspapers and magazines. Gye contributed to Gadfly during 1906-07 and later met C.J. Dennis in Melbourne. Gye illustrated C.J. Dennis' The songs of a sentimental bloke (1915) and provided the illustrations for most of Dennis' works until a disagreement over the work Rose of spadgers (1924) terminated the partnership. Gye also illustrated works by Henry Lawson, Will Ogilvie and A.B. Paterson for Angus & Robertson.

From the 1930s, Gye concentrated on writing and wrote short stories under the pen name 'James Hackston' as well as two collections of short fiction, Father clears out (1966) and The hole in the bedroom floor (1969). In the 1940s and 1950s, Gye wrote verse for the Bulletin as 'Hacko'.

Gye died in Melbourne on 25 November 1967.

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Backblock ballads and other verses (Melbourne : E.W. Cole, n.d.), 1913

First edition. Six copies. Variant bindings.

Original blue cloth, with cover design in color by David Low (Item 1(a))

Inscribed by the Author. 'From Den to Madge,* May 27. 16.'

Original blue cloth, as above, but a taller copy (Item 2(b))

(The book was issued in two sizes.) Inscribed: 'C.J. Dennis, Toolangi, Nov.

Original soft green leather covers as issued (Item 3(c))

Lettered in gilt on front cover, 'Backblock Ballads', all edges gilt. Inscribed: 'To Harry Chaplin with kind regards from Madge Dennis, Dec. 31. 1954'

Original wrappers, with cover design in color by David Low (Item 4(d))

Together with long typewritten letter (signed) from Low to Hal Gye, recalling their friendship together in the old days in Melbourne, and with much about his later life in London.

Bound in quarter leather over the original wrappers (Item 5(e))

Tipped in is photograph of Dennis, Low and Gye, taken on the verandah of Dennis's home at Toolangi. Accompanied by long autograph note by Gye: '...a friendly partnership, and really a unit. Dave was the first to break it; he left for London, then Den died. So life mooches on...' Also with photograph taken by Jeannie Gunn (Mrs Aeneas Gunn) inscribed by her upon reverse depicting Dennis's bus in which he wrote part of The sentimental bloke, at Kallista.

Bound in quarter leather over the original wrappers (Item 6(f))

Tipped in is photograph of the author signed, 'Yours truly, C.J. Dennis.' At the end is series of caricatures of David Low, drawn in pencil by Hal Gye. Together with 4 pages of autograph notes by Hal Gye to Chaplin. He mentions his introduction to David Low by Edmund Fisher, when the former's first cartoons were appearing in the Bulletin. He is puzzled that whilst Low had drawn the cover for Backblock ballads and other verses , he was not asked by Dennis to do the drawings for The sentimental bloke. A very long description of Low's personality, his secretiveness, although both he and Gye shared a studio for a long time together. Writes: '...Low had good eyes - a spiritualist's eyes [it was Low who introduced Norman Lindsay to the Ouija Boards] and a large forehead. He had a small mouth and used to chew lollies secretly...Dave would have loved to look artistic...'

Series 2. The Australaise: a marching song (Melbourne: Ideal Press, n.d.), 1915

Broadsheet (Item 7)

In folder together with 2 autograph letters from C.J. Dennis to William Moore, also portion of another letter in which Dennis writes: '...Without any guff, it really surprises me to find The Australaise so popular. It was written originally as a joke upon Arthur Adams, and was not intended for publication. Since then comments have been turning up from all sorts of unlikely places - centre of Africa, Fiji, and now London...'

Moore wanted to write something about this poem, and Dennis approved of his suggestion to substitute 'Editor of the Red Page' for Arthur Adams. Dennis's letters are addressed 'Dear Billy', and also make references to George Robertson.

The poem appeared in the Bulletin in 1908, but had only four verses with the chorus. It then appeared in Backblock ballads in an enlarged version in 1913. Penciled upon this copy of the Broadsheet is note in pencil by R.H. Croll: 'This is the reprint which J.G. Roberts and I got out and paid for, to distribute to the camps when the previous war broke out. The changes from the original are Dennis's.' 'Kaiser' for 'foeman', and 'german' for 'enemy'.

Also included is letter from J.K. Moir to Chaplin with mention of the rare sheet published by Wallaby Publishing Co., Melbourne, (L.L. Politzer) with a fine illustration by 'Virgil' Reilly.

Dennis was accused of plagiarising W.T. Goodge's verses which were entitled 'A real Australian Australaise', so, for its relevance a fine portrait of W.T. Goodge is included in the folder together with letter from Jack Goodge, some of the latter, addressed to Chaplin, sending the photo, which he has inscribed.

Broadsheet (Item 7)

Another copy of The Australaise in folder together with Bulletin Red Page clipping, and other items of interest (Item 8)

Series 3. The songs of a sentimental bloke (Sydney: Angus and Robertson),1915

The following copies all have the imprint of Angus & Robertson Ltd. There were variant issues of the first edition, but it is not possible for me to deduce therefrom the precise order of their appearance. I have listed them therefore in the order in which, for me, is their collectible interest (Eleven copies).

First edition. Original green cloth, 1915 (Item 9(a))

Inscribed: 'To Madge from C.J. Dennis, October 29th 1915'. Tipped in at the end of the book is pencil drawing by Hal Gye, depicting Henry Lawson, C.J. Dennis and himself, with caption 'The three blokes in the book'.

First edition. Original green cloth, 1915 (Item 10(b))

Inscribed: 'To Henry Lawson, with the compliments of a grateful cobber, C.J. Dennis, Nov. 10. 1915'. This is a rather worn copy. The Leeton resident from whom I acquired it wrote that he could not account for its appearance 'but probably my father could have loaned it to other people'. What a shattering thought! A book linking up two of Australia's best known authors being loaned.

Special edition. Original green cloth, 1915 (Item 11(c))

Inscribed: 'One of 25 copies autographed by the author and with the cover picture bound in. A&R.' Further inscribed: 'Dr Henry Peach. With kind regards from his old friend George Robertson'. Tipped in at the end are 4pp of notes by Hal Gye, describing the avalanche of letters which Dennis received from the 'Diggers'. Also comment upon the poem on preliminary leaf by Leon Montenaeken, and that in all the years he knew Dennis, he never once heard him mention the poet's name. Dr Henry Peach was a leading Sydney dentist.

Special edition. Original green cloth, 1915 (Item 12(d))

Inscribed: 'One of 25 autographed copies with the cover picture bound in, A&R.' Further inscribed: 'Mr F.S. 'Shenstone with the publishers compts. and thanks'. Autographed by the author on title-page. Tipped in is reproduction of Low's drawing of Dennis, depicted with his knapsack, autographed to Fred Shenstone, 'Merry Christmas, 1915, C.J. Dennis'. With this copy are autograph notes by Hal Gye about his work on the illustrations, which Dennis wished to be called 'Decorations', and comment by him about G.R's first reaction to the drawings. He also writes about his ancestor, F. Gye, who was director at Covent Garden Opera House in 1853. He produced Benvenuto Cellini by Berlioz, which was badly received by the audience. A statue of Gye stood formerly in the foyer of the theatre, but the last time I sighted it, the location was the men's room.

First edition. Original green cloth, 1915 (Item 13(e))

Inscribed: 'To Mr Lawrence Campbell, with the author's compliments, C.J. Dennis, Camberwell, July 2nd 1916'. Together with typewritten letter (signed) from the late Sir John Monash to C.J. Dennis: '...It was on the sands of Egypt that I first received a copy of your Sentimental bloke and during our training there in the early part of 1916, my copy passed from hand to hand, and finally into those of the various chaplains of my Brigade, who preached a series of sermons on texts culled from your verses. This particular copy of your book has, therefore, a considerable historical and sentimental value to me, which would be greatly enhanced if I could persuade you to send me a few lines over your signature, so that I may paste it on the fly leaf of the book as a souvenir of the author...'*

With this book also is long autograph note by Hal Gye in which he writes that the drawings for the book were made by him in the bedroom of his home at Flemington, Victoria. Lawrence Campbell was an entertainer and monologist. Readings from Dennis were featured during his performances. Dora Wilcox-Moore while nursing in a London hospital during the 1914-18 War, writes in her unpublished diary (in Harry F. Chaplin Collection). Dec. 13. 1916: '...most of the men in the ward have been reading a book of verses The sentimental bloke, they like it...'

First edition. Original green cloth, 1915 (Item 14(f))

Extra-illustrated by Hal Gye by drawing in colour of C.J. Dennis depicted as a cupid, complete with wings, cap and pipe, with caption: 'The Sentimental Dennis, Hal Gye. Jan. 1950'. Together with autograph notes by Gye. He writes that the book was rejected by Robertson and Mullens, and Thomas C. Lothian, before it was offered to Angus & Robertson Ltd. The Melbourne publishers refused the book because 'the public won't read slang'.

In the preceding copies, the glossary contains the words 'Top, off the'. There are no advertisements. Although specially mentioned by G.R. many of the ordinary copies were issued with the cover picture bound in.

Original green cloth, 1916 (Item 15(g))

The fifty-first thousand. Autographed by C.J. Dennis on the half-title. For this issue Hal Gye designed a frontispiece and panel for the title-page, both printed in colour. He also designed the end-paper paste downs. The book has 23 pages of advertisements dated June 1916. The glossary has been enlarged and is to serve both The sentimental bloke and Ginger Mick. It now contains the words 'Top, off one's' and 'Top off, to'. A preface has been added by the author. The book was issued with a double dust-jacket.

With a long series of autograph notes by Hal Gye. He writes that the frontispiece to the book was drawn from a small dwelling near to the artist's home at Flemington with the caption: 'When we parts at the gate'. Here he also drew the illustrations for The bloke, and not in Low's studio as previously recorded. For the original drawings he received one guinea each, and for the dust-jacket the fee was five guineas. Gye asked for the return of the drawings which was granted. When he married George Robertson sent him 50 pounds. Gye sold all the drawings, with the exception of one which he presented to Dennis.

Pocket edition. Original red cloth, 1916 (Item 16(h))

Inscribed: 'To Madge from Den, October 6th, 1916'. For this edition the artist designed a variant frontispiece and panel for the title-page, both in colour. The end-papers are similar to the preceding copy. The glossary in this and the following copies contains the words, 'Top, off one's' and 'Top off, to'.

Pocket edition. Original red cloth, 1916 (Item 17(i))

Extra-illustrated by the artist with a self-portrait in colour on end paper, with caption: 'Cupid Hal for Harry Chaplin, Hal Gye, Jan. 1950'. A humorous drawing.

Pocket edition. Original red cloth, 1916 (Item 18(j))

Extra-illustrated by the artist with a drawing of a couple of heavy-weight cupids, with caption, 'Dear Harry Chaplin: 'It's a long time since I drew Doreen and Bill, and I reckon Doreen and Bill must have put on a bit of weight by now. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye.' Dated Jan. 1954.

Pocket edition. Original red cloth, 1916 (Item 19(k))

Together with 4pp of notes by Hal Gye, accompanied by drawing of 'Spadger's Lane', and long description of the locality, and the Chinese inhabitants fighting out their various feuds. He also comments upon the coloured panel on the title-page.

Proof copy, for 3rd London impression, 1st October 1919 (Item 20(l))

Fred Shenstone's copy, with his pencilled notes upon half-title, title-page, verso of title and throughout the text. Minute variations in the sizes of illustrations suggest that new plates were made from the Australian printings. Bottom of dust-jacket has wording: London Agents: Oxford University Amen Corner, E.C.4 (Pencilled through by Shenstone.) Printed by Butler & Tanner, Frome and London, for Angus & Robertson Ltd.

Fred S. Shenstone was in charge of all publishing by Angus & Robertson. He had much to do with the format and production of the Dennis books. He also was a life-long friend of Henry Lawson.

Dummy copy for pocket edition. Blue cloth, 1954 (Item 21(m))

Inscribed: 'To Harry Chaplin with kind regards from Madge Dennis. A dummy copy for the Trench edition. Dec. 31. 1954.'

Evidently to determine the format, this copy contains verses from 'The Siron' and 'The Kid', together with blank leaves to build up. These pocket editions were popularly known as 'Trench' editions, as were those of poems by Paterson and Ogilvie, issued in similar format.

A number of the copies of The bloke issued in the Pocket editions were bound in soft purple leather, with the title lettered in gilt on the cover. The contents were similar to the cloth issues, other than for a variation in the lettering on title-page. Hal Gye's copy carried the announcement, 'Seventy-third thousand'. Under the heading The sentimental bloke, the poems 'A spring song', 'The intro', 'The Stoush O'Day' and 'Doreen', were previously published in the E.W. Cole edition of Backblock ballads. For their re-appearance in the Angus & Robertson editions the author made some minor revisions.

Dennis wrote to Henry Lawson asking him if he would write a preface to The sentimental bloke. Lawson replied: 'Dear Den. Of course I will, you ole fool...' The letter, together with other of Lawson's letters to Dennis is reproduced in the catalogue of my Lawson collection, published by The Wentworth Press, 1974.

Series 4. The sentimental bloke: Australia's first great screen classic

Brochure (Item 22)

Issue by the Gaumont Company Ltd., Denman Street, London, 1920. This is an announcement to the various motion picture houses and distributors. [Folio]

Wrappers. 12pp. Design in colour on front cover. With frontispiece and 8 tinted drawings to illustrate verses selected from the book. Foreword by C.J. Dennis. Length of film is given as 6 reels-5899 feet. The brochure reprints comments from various London papers on the merits of the film. It is being presented by arrangements with E.J. Carroll and Barrington Miller. The overall size of the brochure is 13" x 10.1/2". Inserted is transcript in autograph by Hal Gye of poem written by C.J. Dennis to advertise the premiere of the film: 'I dips me lid: the Sentimental Bloke writes his own advertisement'. Bound in decorated boards.

Series 5. Overseas editions

Doreen and the sentimental bloke (New York: John Lane Company; Toronto : S.B. Gundy, MCMXVI) (Item 23)

Original dark red cloth. Title on cover in white, with device similar to Australian copies. Title on spine in white. Doreen/device/Dennis. Lettered at bottom of spine 'Gundy'. Complete with dust-jacket in colour. It depicts 'The Bloke', fully dressed, sitting dejectedly on a sea shore, with a drawing of 'Doreen' within a heart shaped border, upon the upper right hand corner. This copy contains the Montenaeken poem, also an announcement:


Of Making Many Books,

There is no End.

Brief is the Life of Most.

Doreen will Live, for The Sentimental Bloke has, with Genuine Skill, set Chords Vibrating, which are Eternal.

As David Harum said, 'There is as much Human Nature in some Folks as there is in Others, if not More.' S.B.G.

Doreen and the sentimental bloke (New York: John Lane Company; Toronto: S.B. Gundy, MCMXVI) (Item 24)

Original light red cloth. Title on cover in black, with device as in preceding copy, and with title similar at top of spine, in black. However the name John Lane Company appears on bottom of the spine in black. This copy has the Montenaeken poem, but lacks the Gundy announcement. It is also almost an inch taller than the preceding copy.

Tipped into this copy is long commentary (4pp) in the autograph of Hal Gye, accompanied by a drawing of Uncle Sam kicking his illustrator off the American map. This is a comment ('in anger') because there are no illustrations. The poem 'Stoush O'Day' has also been omitted. Gye recalls his discussion with Dennis about this American edition, and the reason why his illustrations were not used. Also: '...Anyway, to Hell with the Yanks, and their Doreen inside a heart - so like Hollywood, Eh? How on earth did they manage to print the book without a deft touch of the American sex trouble?'

Doreen and the sentimental bloke (Toronto: S.B. Gundy; New York: John Lane Company; London: John Lane, The Bodley Head; MCMXVI) (Item 25)

Light red cloth. Title on cover in white. With similar design to preceding copies, but with the name Gundy at bottom of spine. Contains the Montenaeken poem, and the Gundy announcement. Together with attractive dust-jacket, designed in lilac and black. In decorative panel, 'Doreen' and 'Bill' are depicted arm in arm but dressed like costers. The contents of this book conform to the preceding copies in respect to the text. Tipped into this copy are autograph notes (4pp) by Hal Gye. He comments on the dust-jacket: '...I can remember seeing Bill looking like a coster in this Canadian issue, and if I shed any tears at the time - well, they've dried up by this time. I have no doubt that he will live down the false pictures of him that were published abroad...'

The prefaces by C.J. Dennis and Henry Lawson were omitted from these editions, together with the omission of the Hal Gye illustrations. All the copies have the Glossary, with the reading 'Top, off the'.

The songs of a sentimental bloke - overseas edition London: Selwyn Blount, n.d. (Item 26)

Blue cloth, with device of Cupid in lower right corner of cover. Complete with dust-jacket, with title The sentimental bloke designed by Thompson, who has also supplied drawings throughout the text. The verso of title-page states:

First published in Australia, 1915.

First published in England, 1936.

The dust-jacket announces: 'We here present the first English edition of Mr C.J. Dennis's classic, The sentimental bloke. The book contains the Montenaeken poem, also the Preface by C.J. Dennis to the fifty-first thousand, and the Preface by Henry Lawson. The illustrations by Thompson, of which there are 14, add little interest to the book, and the artist has missed the point in his illustration to 'The Stoush O'Day'. The glossary in this edition has the readings 'Top, off one's' and 'Top off, to'.

Series 6. The moods of Ginger Mick (Sydney: Angus and Robertson),1916

The following eight copies all have the imprint of Angus & Robertson Ltd.

First edition. Original green cloth, 1916 (Item 27(a))

Inscribed: 'To Madge from Den, South Yarra, Oct. 12. '16.'

Below is signature 'C.J. Dennis', in the author's usual green ink. This copy has the dust-jacket picture bound in. The caption on illustration facing page 109 reads: 'Yeh orter see the boys uv my ole squad'. There are 24 pages of advertisements dated September 1916.

First edition. Original green cloth, 1916 (Item 28(b))

A copy of the Special Issue. Inscribed: 'One of 38 copies with the cover picture bound in, A&R'. Further inscribed: 'Mr F.S. Shenstone with the publishers compts'. Below this is signature 'C.J. Dennis'. Fred Shenstone has checked this copy for errors, and has written in pencil upon a fly-leaf, the numbers of those pages needing corrections. The caption is similar to that in the preceding copy. The copy has 24 pages of advertisements dated September 1916. It is complete with the double dust-jacket.

First edition. Original green cloth, 1916 (Item 29(c))

With 24 pages of advertisements dated September 1916. Caption is similar to preceding copy. Complete with the double dust-jacket. The dust-jacket picture has not been bound in. Loosely inserted is the author's unsigned typescript of poem 'Ginger's Cobber'. On the final page of the script is Dennis's rubber stamp, showing the date upon which the script was sent to the Bulletin, 8 July 1915, also the number of lines (144), and the price paid (£ 3). These notes are in the author's usual green ink. There are a number of textual variations between the script and the printing in the book.

First edition. Original green cloth, 1916 (Item 30(d))

With 24 pages of advertisements, and caption similar to the preceding copies. The cover picture has not been bound in. Extra-illustrated with a fine full-page drawing on end-paper, in colour. It depicts the artist, a diminutive figure walking between two giant size policemen. With long inscription: 'Dear Harry Chaplin: Long before I met 'Den' I did Lillie-Bourke and Little Lon with the cops. They took me around with them and I drew Chows in 'joints', saw white girls disappear into black doors, heard the clock of gambling in the threatening alleys, drank Chinamen's beer, and saw the dawn come greyly in. And so, again, I told my cobber 'Den' all about it and that's how he came by his knowledge of such places. 'Den' never saw Spadger's Lane...'

Later issue. Pale blue cloth, 1916 (Item 31(e))

There are no advertisements in this copy, neither has the cover picture been bound in. The caption to illustration facing page 109, has been altered to read 'Yeh ort to see the boys uv my ole squad'.

Extra-illustrated by a full page drawing in colour, depicting 'Ginger Dennis for Harry Chaplin, Hal Gye Jan. 1950'. A good portrait of Dennis, dressed as Ginger Mick. Tipped in is long autograph note by Hal Gye, 4pp, with illustrations of the artist sitting at his table by the window and a policeman passing by outside. Gye writes: 'Yes, I was in Molesworth Chambers (now gone), Low upstairs...As you know Low shifted me early one morning, and I have never been able to make up my mind whether Dave moved me to share a studio with him for my good company or just to share the rent. In this studio at the Olderfleet in Collins Street I drew the jacket for Ginger Mick...the Ginger Mick jacket was the only Mick illustration I drew in this studio; I drew the line drawings at my home in Kent Street, Newmarket. This jacket was the first Dennis (and the only one) illustration drawn here. I've always liked to be absolutely alone when doing a set of drawings...As for The sentimental bloke Cupids, they never saw the Olderfleet - they were created at the same Kent Street, Newmarket, and Mr Roberts in his diary got it all wrong. When I unveiled the Dennis Plaque recently I, during my talk told the story...The Age News of the Day column wrote it up, and so where Hal Gye drew The sentimental bloke illustrations is Law now, so to speak, and that's that...It is not of much importance, anyhow, still if history demands the truth - well, I'm providing it here. July 1963.'

The above is a very brief extract from a long series of comments concerning the drawings of the Dennis books.

Later issue. Pale blue cloth, 1916 (Item 32(f))

This book conforms in all respects to the preceding copy. Tipped in is a series of autograph notes by Hal Gye, 6pp, relating to the contents of the book, and with much about the poem, 'The Singing Soldiers'. One extract: 'You are off the mark as to where he (Dennis) wrote the poem. He did not write it at Toolangi. He wrote it while he was working at the Wool Exchange in King Street, and at the time he was living at Camberwell, in a room where I used to go up on a Sunday morning...We used to put in the day walking along the Yarra.'

The notes are accompanied by a coloured drawing of The wobbly bridge. Dated July 1963.

Howard White set 'The singing soldiers' to music, and often sang it. He was the husband of Evelyn Scotney, soprano. She was singing at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, with Enrico Caruso, in the case of La Juive, upon the night when he had the seizure. It was his last performance.

Pocket edition. Original red cloth*, 1916 (Item 33(g))

Extra-illustrated across two end-papers with drawings in colour, and lively description of scenes at the Hong Kong Cafe, in Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, in which Hal Gye participated. He related the incidents to Dennis who wrote them into the poem 'Duck an' Fowl'. 'It always amused me, when, while I was ordering duck and fowl, the fowls and ducks (in crates and before my eyes) voiced their protests, it seemed, at the nature of my order. Yours Hal Gye, January 1954.'

As in preceding copy, the caption to illustration reads, 'Yeh ort'.

Pocket edition. Original red cloth, 1916 (Item 34(h))

This copy has long inscription written in by Hal Gye, dated 1952. He writes of his friendship with Louis Esson and their visits to the Chinese cafes in Melbourne. He also mentions a recent visit to Spadger's Lane, and the changes in the environment.

All the preceding copies have the end-papers designed by Hal Gye.

A number of copies of Ginger Mick were issued in the Pocket Edition bound in soft green leather, with the title lettered in gilt on the cover. The contents are similar to the cloth copies.

Series 7. The moods of Ginger Mick- American copyright issue, 1917

In their catalogue, June 1929, Angus & Robertson Ltd. stated that: '...In order to secure copyright in U.S.A. the publishers had to cable (at the cost of 60 pounds) a line from every verse and have it set up and printed there within the time specified in Uncle Sam's rotten Copyright Act.........12 copies so published.' Actually the copy contains abbreviated versions of only six of the poems in the Australian edition.

Issued as a slim booklet in brown paper wrappers, with title.

The moods of Ginger Mick


C.J. Dennis

on the cover. The imprint reads:

Toronto S.B. Gundy

New York John Lane Company


Includes two copies: item 35(a) (in the original wrappers) and item 36(b) (in full morocco binding over the wrappers as issued).

The American Copyright Act requires two copies for the Library of Congress, and that two copies must be sold. If only 12 copies were issued the booklet would not ever be common.

Series 8. The moods of Ginger Mick: American edition

Published in New York by John Lane Company and in Toronto by S.B. Gundy, MCMXVIII. Red cloth. Title on front cover in white: Ginger Mick - C.J. Dennis

This series consists of two copies

With dust-jacket in colour, with title Ginger Mick - C.J. Dennis (Item 37(a))

Tipped into this copy is pencil drawing by Hal Gye, which depicts him receiving instructions from C.J. Dennis. A very humorous sketch.

With autograph notes by Hal Gye, and drawings (Item 38(b))

A brief extract: 'Den' never said anything to me about the American issues. He was only concerned with himself (rightly so - but selfishness is not a virtue) and he seldom confided in me unless his confidence would be to his advantage. But, as I've said before, when I received letters from George Robertson he'd coax round me until I'd tell him what was in my letter, or I'd give him the letter to read. When he'd receive a letter and I'd be by, he'd read it, set his mouth in a firm line, put the letter in his pocket firmly, and stare at me like a Cop. Still he was a nice bloke (when he was not so well off...when he was making money he liked to mix with the Haves more than the Have-nots. He wasn't much of a credit to himself in the end, vain, swank-pub - Mr Dennis's taxi! - coot...The poet enjoyed His (F.S's) missing the mail. (Den didn't have to foot the bill for the mistake) and he wore a huge grin when he mentioned it to me...'

Fred Shenstone missed the mail with the copy for America, and so it was necessary to cable. There are no illustrations in the American edition. When he was at the peak of his popularity Dennis told Hal Gye that he had eighteen thousand pounds in the bank. It all went. When he died he left his wife as poor as she was when she married him.

Series 9. The Battle of the Wazzir

Proof, 12th July, 1916 (Item 39)

Originally F.S. Shenstone's copy, with his autograph note thereon: 'Omitted from Ginger Mick. Censored.' One sheet folded to 8 pages. Unopened. Printed at head of first page: 'Unrevised proof - '

In full morocco folder together with series of autograph notes by Hal Gye, together with caricature of Sir George Pearce, Minister for Defence, during the 1914-18 War. Gye writes: 'Den told me that it had been tipped out of the book. I snorted, but he made no comment. We believed that Pearce, the Defence Minister, was the bloke responsible...I think that Den was a bit sore beneath his vest about it. I remember seeing the first typed MS. that's all. Cecil Mann wrote in the Red Page about the poem: '...but they were women'. The soldiers had nothing to be proud of.

The 'Wazzir' or 'Wozzer', was a street known as the Haret el Wasser, which lay at the rear of Shepheard's Hotel in Cairo. It consisted mainly of brothels and was much frequented by the New Zealand and Australian troops, when they were quartered in Eygpt. Many of them, of course, suffered 'casualties', and prior to the departure for Gallipoli the troops decided to even the score. A number of soldiers primed with the bad liquor sold in the neighborhood, fired the houses and a riot ensued. Despite efforts by British troops an the Cairo Fire Brigade, much damage was caused, to the great satisfaction of the soldiers concerned. Censorship tried to smother news of the incident, hence the elimination of the poem from the book.

It has been stated that only 12 copies were pulled, but in a printing shop when the boys were at work, they could easily have run off more copies than were intended.

Tipped in is typescript of poem 'The bar-room patriot', 3pp, fcp., signed by the author. Dennis endorses Kitchener's advice, to refrain from treating soldiers to intoxicating liquor.

Series 10. Doreen

A slim booklet issued by Angus & Robertson Ltd. in 1917. Design in colour in panel on cover and illustrations throughout the text, also specially drawn initial letters. Light board wrappers.

The series consists of four copies

Original wrappers (Item 40(a))

Inscribed: 'Harry Chaplin from Biddy Dennis'.

Tipped in is autograph note and pencil drawing by Hal Gye, commenting: 'I drew the picture of Bill sitting on the fence from myself sitting on the bottom of our bed. George Robertson wrote and congratulated me on the 'Doreen' illustrations.'

Original wrappers (Item 41(b))

Inscribed: 'Dear Harry Chaplin: One day at Toolangi, soon after I had met him 'Den' handed me a photograph of a little dancer to look at. It was cracked and looked as if he had been carrying it about with him for a long time. I handed it back to him. 'Dorren' I asked. 'Um' said Dennis, and put it back in his pocket book. Hal Gye, September 1957.' With this is a drawing of the little dancer, with caption, 'The photograph as I remember it.'

Original wrappers (Item 42(c))

Inscribed: 'Dear Harry: In giving you this copy of Doreen I am also giving myself a great deal of pleasure, because this little book brings back to me so many happy recollections of 'Den', and the long hours which we spent together; for we designed the format of the book for the publishers. Although it is regarded by collectors as one of the minor Dennis items it is becoming increasingly difficult to find nice clean copies such as this. I do not know how many copies were published but 'Den' told me that the little book sold extremely well, and that the publisher George Robertson was extremely pleased with the artistic level of the production and particularly with the illustrations...Yours, Hal.'

Full morocco over the original wrappers (Item 43(d))

Bound in are extra leaves upon which are laid down the original printer's proofs of the illustrations and the initial letters. All are inscribed by Hal Gye. The coloured plate lacks the caption. Inscribed: 'Dear Harry Chaplin: George Robertson was very pleased with the pen drawings in this book, so was 'Den'. Forgive my skite! The gypsy 'vi'lits' used to grow down at the bottom of 'Den's' place, just below the race - a stream of purest water, and Mrs Dennis was always saying, 'Aren't they lovely Hal!' Hal Gye, January 1952.'

'Possum' (Item 44)

Dennis's original manuscript of this poem which appears in Doreen. Written throughout in pencil. 8pp. 4to. There are some variations from the printed text, and many emendations and corrections.

Bound in half-morocco album, together with two original pen and ink drawings, and one in water colour, together with hand-lettered title-page. All specially designed for this manuscript by Hal Gye.

Included also are the artist's rough sketches and letters from him to Chaplin.

Series 11. The Glugs of Gos (Sydney: Angus and Robertson),1917

All the following copies have the imprint of Angus & Robertson Ltd.

This series consists of fourteen copies.

First edition. Original green cloth, 1917 (Item 45(a))

Autographed 'Madge Dennis' upon the Dedication page. The book was dedicated by the author to his wife. The book contains a full-page drawing in colour by Hal Gye, together with his note: 'My studio at Toolangi where I illustrated this book. It was an old timer-mill hut.' Also autograph letter from Mrs Dennis to Chaplin in which she writes that her own copy of the book was stolen from her bookcase.

Copies of this book have variant covers. The 'Glug' on the cover of this book is wearing a tall hat, and the author's name is in solid type. In future this binding will be called 'a'.

First edition. Original green cloth, 1917 (Item 46(b))

Together with 4 pages of autograph notes by Hal Gye, accompanied by a pen and ink drawing of himself and the author. He writes at length about the writing of this book by Dennis, and is surprised at my letter in which I wondered if he took the name 'Glug' from Edward Dyson, as it had been used by him in his Fact'ry 'ands, published in 1906, upon page 101. The 'Glug' on the cover of this book is wearing a short, squat hat, and the author's name is in open face type. In future this binding will be called 'b'.

First edition. Original green cloth, 1917 (Item 47(c))

Together with autograph letter, 3pp, from C.J. Dennis to his friend Jerry Waight, 3 March 1936. '...Excuse pencil. But I'm only a poor country yob who knows no better, and my pen is in another room...Thanks for the offer of a par. You might make something of the fact that 'Singing Garden' is receiving much favourable comment from reviewers in England and Scotland. Also I have been lately much surprised to learn from publishers that 'Glugs of Gosh' (written to please myself) had passed 35,000. This (G of G) and S.G. I consider my two best books. Cheerio, Yours, Den.'

This copy is in the 'b' binding.

Proof copy. Original green cloth. In 'a' binding (Item 48(d))

Lettered at top of front cover: 'Proof - Not for Publication'. The dust-jacket cover is bound in, but the words The Glugs of Gosh are embossed, as though a die has been used. The coloured title-page is missing; the frontispiece is tipped into the book but the caption at bottom is missing. Perhaps a trial copy for the Blue Wren edition, as at the appropriate pages in the text the coloured plates have been bound in, with the captions written thereon by Fred Shenstone. In the finished book the captions were printed on tissues facing the plates. This edition contains six extra plates in colour. Fred Shenstone has corrected some errors in the text of this volume.

Blue Wren edition. Original green cloth, 1917 (Item 49(e))

Special issue. Inscribed: 'One of 25 copies with the cover pictures bound in. A&R.' With further inscriptions: 'Mrs C.J. Dennis from George Robertson' - 'To Harry Chaplin with kind regards from Madge Dennis. Dec. 31. 1954.'

Blue Wren edition. Original green cloth, 1917 (Item 50(f))

Special issue. Inscribed: 'One of 25 copies with the cover pictures bound in A&R.' This, as in all the special Dennis editions is in the hand-writing of George Robertson.

Tipped in is pencil drawing of C.J. Dennis by Hal Gye. The author is depicted wearing a very high collar and with haughty mien. Titled: 'Struth! C.J.D. private secretary to Senator Ted Russell.'

This edition was issued in a triple dust-jacket setting. The cover for the ordinary edition, a special coloured bird wrapper and the usual informative wrapper describing the contents.

Blue Wren edition. Original green cloth, 1917 (Item 51(g))

Extra-illustrated with two full-page drawings in colour of C.J. Dennis and Hal Gye wearing the tall hats. With inscription: 'Dear Harry Chaplin: I have much pleasure in presenting two Toolangi Glugs. C.J. Glug and Hal Glug. Yours sincerely Hal Gye, Jan. 1954.'

Blue Wren edition. Original green cloth, 1917 (Item 52(h))

Tipped in are two pencil drawings of C.J. Dennis, one of which depicts him as one of his own Glugs, the other as the ''umble Den walking up from Yarra Glen to his mountain shack'.

Both drawings are by Hal Gye.

Also tipped in is photograph of Hal Gye standing by Dennis's grave in Box Hill. The headstone reads: 'C.J. Dennis 'Den' loved husband of Biddy'.

In the 'b' binding (Item 53(a))

With two pages of advertisements dated 1917. Extra-illustrated across the end-papers with drawing of the artist inspecting a short hat. Inscription: 'No. I. Dear Harry: I remember drawing this short, squat hat for the front cover - no dream about it. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye, January 1954. P.S. See No. 2'.

In the 'a' binding (Item 54(b))

Extra-illustrated across the end-papers with drawings of the artist inspecting with great astonishment a tall hat. Inscription: 'No. 2. Dear Harry: But I'm hanged if I remember drawing this tall tile. I must have, but-why-well memory fails me. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye. January 1954. P.S. Is it really there, Harry? Hal Gye'.

In the 'b' binding (Item 55(c))

Extra-illustrated across the end-papers. Inscription: 'No. I. Dear Harry Chaplin: See my models, Harry, 'Den's' old dress-suit, tie, collar and hat, but he didn't wear the hat with his tails. I used the dress-suit for my Glug illustrations, and when I'd finished the Glugs I took the coat back to town and used it for my Bulletin drawings. Dave Lowe wrote to me from London, 'I see 'Den's' old tails appearing in the Bully lately. Who said the Sentimental Bloke was not a toff? Yours sincerely, Hal Gye, January 1954'.

In the 'a' binding (Item 56(d))

Extra-illustrated across the end-papers. Inscriptions: 'No. 2. Dear Harry: And here's C.J.D. himself posing up a tree for me, and in his old tails, too. And after he'd been impersonating a Glug up a tree for an hour and a half did the poet speak rudely to his illustrator; said he wanted to scratch his ear and couldn't. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye. January 1954'. Drawing depicts C.J.D. hanging to the branch of a tree in the tail coat.

In the 'a' binding (Item 57(e))

With long inscription across the end-papers: 'Dear Harry Chaplin: The coloured illustration 'The Swank' was the first coloured drawing sent to A&R, as a specimen, as it were, of what was intended. I was staying at Toolangi at the time, and had turned one of the old saw-mill huts into a studio...After I'd sent the drawing George Robertson sent me wire: 'An illustration like this would sell even a Dennis poem'. Dennis didn't like it too much...and it was not long before the Myer Emporium, as a catch line to draw customers to their corsets and other clothes, advertised and sold the book for 2/6, the cows! after which Reads of Prahran advertised the same book for 1/6, more cows! So The Glugs of Gosh hung fire...Then slowly, very slowly, it began to sell, until at present you can't buy a copy. While the Glugs was being got ready to print, Henry Lawson sent George Robertson a telegram complaining about some book of his being held up, and asked: 'Is it because of the Bugs of Bosh' and George Robertson wired back; 'No, the Slugs of Slosh'. Den got the word 'glug'* from the sound the coach horses made when they pulled their hooves out of the thick Toolangi clay in the road. Hal Gye, January 1952'.

Hal Gye designed the end-papers for all issues of this book.

English edition. Original green cloth, 1919 (Item 58)

This edition of The Glugs of Gosh has the imprint of Angus & Robertson Ltd. of Sydney, with the addition of the words: 'Completing Fortieth Thousand'. It was printed by Robert Maclehose and Co. Ltd., The University Press, Glasgow, for Angus & Robertson Ltd. It lacks the coloured plates, and also the advertisements. The cover is in the 'b' binding.

Tipped in is small pencil drawing by Hal Gye, a self portrait.

C.J. Dennis's work book for The Glugs of Gosh (Item 59)

An exercise book in which the author has written out his plan for the book, and the titles of the various verse sequences. The pages are headed with the titles which to 'The Seer' are in conformity with the printing of the verses in the book. From then on to the end there are variations. 'Emily Ann' was to have been 'Emily Lou', and 'The Little Red Dog' was originally titled 'The Little Blue Wren'. The 'Introduction' varies from the printed version:

'If you'd really like to meet a Glug

Just pluck three hairs from a rat-skin rug,

Blow one to the East, and one to the West,

And one to the South and swallow the rest

And if someone declares 'tis the act of a fool...'

Some of the pages have the word 'written' scrawled across them, so evidently the poet had completed that set of verses. All the writing is in pencil, and there are some annotations throughout the book, which are relevant to the contents. One note: 'Folk getting tired of Swank - threat of Oggs - (Political reference - coalition).'

Together with long autograph letter from Hal Gye to Chaplin '...For some quick reason he must have seen the forthcoming series of verses as a whole, and being in a good mood about it, wrote the whole scheme down, and having done it said, 'Ah! That's done!. ...You will notice with what pleasure the word 'written' is banged across those which he had written - 'thank God that's done'. The Glugs was a picnic book for both of us; 'Den' had a lot of fun writing it, and I loved illustrating it...'

The Glugs of Gosh Angus Robertson. 2 books (Item 60)

Typescripts and autograph drafts in pencil, with many revisions and deletions by the author. 'The Glug Quest' and 'The Seer' are missing, also 3 verses of 'Ogs'. The collection comprises:

Joi, the Glug (typescript)

The Stones of Gosh (pencil and typescript)

Sym, the Son of Joi (pencil and typescript)

The Growth of Sym (pencil and typescript)

The Death of Joi (pencil and typescript). Pencil draw of first portion completed in typescript.

The Swanks of Gosh (typescript). Stamped by Dennis with his autograph note: 'Posted to the Bulletin, October 21, 1915. 190 lines. Payment 3 pounds 5 shillings

The Songs of Sym (pencil draft)

The Debate (pencil draft)

Ogs (typescript)

Emily Ann (pencil draft)

The Little Blue Wren (pencil draft).

This was changed to 'The Little Red Dog' in the book.

There are many corrections throughout, all in the autograph of the author.

The whole bound in full-morocco album together with a new series of original drawings commissioned from Hal Gye. There are 9 plates in full colour, 4 are tinted, and II in pen and ink, all 8" x 6". These are completely different from those originally published in the book.

With the above is album in half-morocco into which are bound the first rough sketches for the above.

Series 12. Digger Smith (Sydney: Angus and Robertson), 1918

With coloured frontispiece, extra title-page in colour, and illustrations throughout the text, by Hal Gye.

This series consists of five copies

First edition. Original green cloth (Item 61(a))

Extra-illustrated on end papers, by stencil portrait of Hal Gye (cut by C.J. Dennis) also drawings in colour of the author and his illustrator trudging along the road from Yarra Glen to Toolangi, dated and signed by Hal Gye.

First edition. Special issue (Item 62(b))

Inscribed by George Robertson: 'One of 25 copies with the cover picture bound in. A&R'. Further inscribed: 'Mr Shenstone with the publishers compts'. Hinged in is pencil drawing, 'Study of 'Den'' for the Digger Smith frontispiece, by Hal Gye. This copy is complete with the double dust-jacket.

Pocket edition. Original red cloth (Item 63(c))

With coloured drawing on end-paper: 'Dear Harry Chaplin. Herewith portrait of the illustrator. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye'.

Pocket edition. Original red cloth (Item 64(d))

With long inscription across two end-papers. 'Dear Harry Chaplin: There's nothing much to say about this excitement - no reams, just plodding...'Den' wrote this book because he felt it his duty to write one book a year and make a lot of money, not just because he felt like writing it. I forget how the book went. We didn't have the fun with it we had with The Glugs of Gosh...Digger Smith made no dint in my memory for remembrance. Hal Gye, September 1952'. With pen drawing of the author and 'Den' playing tennis, with snakes and rabbits looking on, with caption, 'We must get on with Digger Smith tomorrow, Hal'.

Pocket edition. Original red cloth (Item 65(e))

Extra-illustrated by Hal Gye with drawing in colour. He depicts himself fishing at a stream, with caption: 'Dear Harry. j I lived with 'Den' at Toolangi while this book was being illustrated so that I could give all my time to the illustrations. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye. January 1950'.

Although Hal Gye illustrated the book, he did not make the drawing for the cover, which was supplied by an artist unknown both to Hal Gye and myself. All have end-papers designed by Hal Gye.

Series 13. Backblock ballads and later verses (Sydney: Angus and Robertson), 1918

This series consists of four copies

First edition. Original green cloth (Item 66(a))

Frontispiece and extra title-page in colour by Hal Gye. There are no illustrations in the text although the title-page states, 'Illustrated by Hal Gye'.

Tipped into this copy is autograph manuscript by C.J. Dennis of 2 verses of his poem 'The Little Homes', signed.

This copy is one of the early issues, with the 'bullocky' in the frontispiece, depicted on the right side of his team. It has 4 pages of advertisements, for '1918 Season'. These latter announce the preparation of 'Sentimental Bloke Calendars for 1919' to be ready in September. These were to be in 'Two sorts, each with coloured picture by Hal Gye, and monthly tear-off calendar, on fancy mount'. A Dennis item which, if issued, I have not seen.

Special issue. Original green cloth, 1918 (Item 67(b))

Inscribed: 'One of 25 copies with cover picture and frontispiece for the second edition bound in. A&R'. Further inscribed: 'Mr F.S. Shenstone with the publishers compts'.

This book contains the original frontispiece with the 'bullocky' on the right side of his team, and the re-drawn frontispiece placing the 'bullocky' on the left of his team.

With long series of autograph notes, 6pp, by Hal Gye relating the circumstances of the incorrect drawing. 'First of all I drew the bullocky on the right side of his team. On the left is correct. Although I made the sad was not because of ignorance, for, when I lived at Black Range it was my job to let the bullockies who camped opposite our house water their team in the dam also opposite our place...On several occasions, a bullocky would to please me, hand me the whip and ask me to take over, which I did under his guardian eye...and on one occasion I bullockied the team from our place into Albury...However, the original water colour was sent back to me, and sad at heart and ashamed carried out their suggestions...Coming to 'Den's' verses 'The Old Master' in the book. I'd like to say that the old legend of bullockies using bad language might have been a little overdrawn...As a boy I never heard them cursing and swearing at their teams; they were big, solid, quiet blokes to me, and stroke beside their teams in great silence and that dignity which goes with the soil. Hal Gye, September, 1963'.

Special issue. Original green cloth, 1918 (Item 68(c))

Inscribed: 'One of 25 copies with cover picture and frontispiece for the second edition bound in. A&R'.

Accompanied by a long series of autograph notes by Hal Gye, commenting upon the re-drawing of the frontispiece.

Later issue. Original green cloth, 1919 (Item 69(d))

This copy has the corrected frontispiece, and the extra title-page in colour.

Together with autograph notes by Hal Gye about 'The Gnad'. 'Early in the War 'Den' who fancied himself with his hands and liked making bits of things, bought some Plasticine and, lo, he was sitting up with all the assurance of a great sculptor modelling - a nude..It was rather amusing to watch him...I didn't think much of it and my silence told him so...What became of her I don't know. Just at this time he wrote some verses for The weekly times annual ('Grimbles and the Gnad'). Illustrate it said 'Den'. I said 'Right', model me a Gnad. His eyes lit up and from then he worked like a happy boy modelling his Gnad. I encouraged him and it made my job easier. I drew his Gnad for the top of the full page drawing and verse. The Gnad was brought out to eat up a farmer's pest and eventually became a pest itself. Its advent was preceded by other pests, particularly the Worty Swunk'.

The copies, 'a', 'b' and 'c' have the end-papers designed by Hal Gye, but with copy 'd' the publishers reverted to the A&R design.

This book contains only 21 of the poems from the 1913 edition, the remainder are new verses. In this edition 'The Australaise' follows the test of the E.W. Cole printing.

Series 14. Jim of the hills (Sydney: Angus and Robertson), 1919

First edition. Original green cloth

This series consists of five copies

With coloured frontispiece and extra title-page in colour by Hal Gye (Item 70(a))

Although title-page states: 'Illustrated by Hal Gye', there are no illustrations throughout the text. Extra-illustrated by the artist with two pen and ink drawings 'The Artist then and now. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye'.

Long inscription on end paper by Hal Gye in which he writes: 'how it ever came about that this Dennis book has no line illustrations - well, memory has lost the evidence. Looking back over the years I would say that A&R cut them out for financial reasons. 'Den's' books at this time were not money-spinners like The sentimental bloke and Ginger Mick - it couldn't go for 'Den' taking a hand in the matter and pushing Hal Gye into a full illustrating job all Mr Gye can say at this date is that the poet would have never thought of shoving anybody but himself, and yet no illustrator has ever befriended poet and publisher more...or done a better and more lasting job - the history of the years proves it. All down the years the publishers have never thought of the artist who also did his bit towards the mammoth success of the book - a book which Mr Bob Menzies said that he could never make up his mind as to which contributed more to the success of the book (The sentimental bloke) the verses or the whimsy of my illustrations. He said it to me personally at the Book Fair at the Melbourne Town Hall'.

Original green cloth, 1919 (Item 71(b))

With coloured drawing on end-paper by Hal Gye, depicting the poet and h is illustrator walking amongst the tall timbers of Toolangi. Long inscription accompanying: 'Dear Harry Chaplin: During the writing of this book 'Den' the bushman, the brown man of the forest, took me up among the giant trees and I felt a stranger. 'Den' was most dignified and addressed me almost as an inferior, so fine did he feel among the tall trees of his beloved forest. However, I recovered and spent many walks (and weeks) climbing up the mountains with him. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye, May 1954'.

Original green cloth, 1919 (Item 72(c))

With stencil portrait of the illustrator on end-paper, with inscription: 'Stencil of Hal Gye, C.J. Dennis's illustrator, cut by C.J.D. Hal Gye, 1949'. Also drawn upon end-paper is sketch entitled, ''Den' the bushman'.

Special issue. Original green cloth, 1919 (Item 73(d))

Inscribed: 'One of 20 copies with jacket picture bound in A&R'. Further inscribed: 'To Harry Chaplin with kind regards from Madge Dennis, December 31, 1954'.

Special issue. Original cloth, 1919 (Item 74(e))

Inscribed: 'One of 20 copies with the jacket picture bound in. A&R'. Further inscribed: 'Mr Shenstone from the publishers'.

Tipped into this copy is autograph letter from C.J. Dennis to Fred Shenstone, 2pp. 4to. Dated 2 March 1920. 'Dear Mr Shenstone, I have copyrighted Jim of the hills and the copyright number is 8169. With admirable patience I still await my completed December returns which you said you would try to send me a fortnight ago.

In making of books is much labour

And weariness, too, of the mind;

But the practice of loving your neighbour

Comes hard when returns are behind.

Yours truly, C.J. Dennis.

'P.S. Do you think it worth while letting John Lane know that the 'Bloke' film will shortly be shown in U.S.A. If it is a success, as seems probably, there may be a rush for the book. C.J.D.'.

All the preceding copies have 4 pages of advertisements. They also have the green A&R end papers.

Series 15. A book for kids (Sydney: Angus and Robertson n.d.), [1921]

Boards. With canvas back. Cover and dust-jacket designed by C.J. Dennis who also illustrated the book throughout, and drew amusing end papers. Frontispiece and title-page in colour by Hal Gye.

This series consists of two copies

Inscribed by George Robertson: 'One of 12 copies with Mr Dennis's 'jacket' bound in. A (Item 75(a))

Further inscribed: 'Mr Shenstone from the publishers'.

Inserted is autograph letter from C.J. Dennis to Fred Shenstone: 'Dear Mr Shenstone: If it is not too late I should like the enclosed alterations to go in. They are not very important but certainly desirable if they can be managed. Yours truly, C.J. Dennis'. Dated at Toolangi, 15 September 1921, and written in the author's usual green ink.

Inscribed by George Robertson: 'One of 12 copies with Mr Dennis's 'jacket' bound in. A (Item 76(b))

Further inscribed: 'Miss Wiley from the publishers'. Miss Wiley was George Robertson's confidential secretary, general factotum, and bodyguard. One of her most important duties was to keep the unwanted visitor away from the publisher's sanctum. Much of her time was occupied in protecting G.R. from the constant importunities of Henry Lawson.

Inserted is autograph letter from C.J. Dennis to Fred Shenstone concerning some missing verses for this publication.

Also tipped in is photograph of Hal Gye, taken in the garden of his home, with long annotation. An amusing commentary upon himself. 'Dear posterity: The smug, self-satisfied respectable looking little gentleman above shows none of the charm of my unruly self...I don't like him, either: ...he's no relation to me and I disown the angelic looking little wowser - let me look like my own rash, impetuous, cursing, drinking, troublesome, laughing, living self. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye, September 1952'. The photograph is headed: 'A photograph of Hal Gye, taken by his friend Harry Chaplin in which picture the native wickedness of the notorious artist has been completely obliterated'.

The mounted figure on the dust jacket is a caricature of Randolph Bedford, drawn by Dennis as a joke.

A book for kids (Item 77)

Portion of the carbon copy of the author's script for this book. The script includes a poem, 'Tales', which was omitted, with note thereon by Hal Gye, that it was unpublished. A number of the pages have tracings made by the author from his own drawings.

With this script is a pencil caricature of Dennis, also an amusing drawing of him sitting in front of his fire-place, feet on the mantelpiece (his favourite posture) working upon the script for this book. Both sketches are by Hal Gye.

Inserted is long autograph letter from the artist to Chaplin, dated from Armadale, October 1, 1952. He writes: 'You have here most of the typewritten copies, or manuscripts, of C.J. Dennis's A book for kids...which were typed by 'Den' at Toolangi, upon his Empire typewriter...I was living at Toolangi when 'Den' was busy writing the verses, which generally happened after dinner, of an evening. 'Den' sitting on his couch, feet up, jotting them down on a pad and trying them on Mrs Dennis...Unfortunately all these pencil drafts probably went into the fire when he typed them out. With the exception of the coloured title and frontispiece 'Den' was illustrating his own book. He said he was going to read like a kid for kids. The story about the boy who rode into the sunset was written for my son Neville and in the frontispiece I drew my son. You will notice there are some copies of 'Den's' drawings and I think they are interesting. They are 'Den's' own handiwork, and he got a lot of fun drawing them. I enthused over them as much as I could - his illustrator was missing a goodly sum of money when the poet became his own illustrator...'

The scripts are bound in decorated boards, with photographs tipped in. One is of the artist as a young man, and the other shows him standing with his son Neville outside 'Den's' front gate at Toolangi, in 1960. The caption is 'Then and Now'.

Hal Gye relates an incident which took place in a Melbourne cafe one lunch hour. Dennis was dining Gye when Randolph Bedford came in and sat alongside. In the course of conversation Bedford said: 'Oh, Den! I've written a play, just finished it!' 'What's it called?' said Den. The sentimental bloke, said Bedford. 'Do you object?' 'No!', said 'Den', 'but my solicitor will!'

Together with a series of letters from Mrs Dennis to Hal Gye. In one letter Mrs Dennis makes some reference to Angus & Robertson Ltd and some of the old employees. '...had several letters from one of George Robertson's Grand-sons. I knew him when he was a little boy. If he is anything like his Grand-dad, he'll do me'. A reference to George Ferguson.

Series 16. Rose of Spadgers: a sequel to Ginger Mick (Sydney: Cornstalk Publishing), 1924

First edition. Original red cloth (Item 78)

The coloured dust-jacket cover by Hal Gye is bound into this copy. The artist has drawn illustrations which appear throughout the text.

Together with autograph notes by Hal Gye, 4 pages, about the book. 'There's not much I can write about this book. C.J.D. was a long time writing it - about five or six years I think. He kept putting it off; maybe he didn't feel like it, or couldn't write it. It's pretty well impossible for a man to go on churning out books of verse on the same subject, so to speak. I made the drawings long before the book was written; went up to Blackburn and drew the orchard picture...which I still think a delightful sample of my pen work...I doubled my fees for the illustrations in this book, and George Robertson wrote to me and said he had no objections to my new charges...You will notice that A&R left my name out of it; no statement that Hal Gye's illustrations graced the cover and pages. I remember that 'Den' said, very early, something that made me laugh, but happily it was a great complement to his artist. 'You do the drawings and I'll write verses round them'. Which I did...It was at the Mitre Tavern that I told 'Den' I knew of a good lane that would draw well for Ginger Mick then under way, and after our meal I took him there an strangely enough on the way back (we walked - no taxis for 'Den' then) strolled through the Eastern Market, where, recently, I unveiled the plaque honoring him, in the new Southern Cross Hotel. So life mooched on. Hal Gye, July 1963'.

Hal Gye, in his Story of C.J. Dennis (noted later in this book) has this to say:

'...Speaking of Edward Dyson, veiled hints to the effect that 'Den' had almost broken in on Dyson's domain and was indebted to Fact'ry 'ands travelled to the Dennis camp - and then came Spadger's Lane in Ginger Mick - and Spadger one of Dyson's characters in that same Fact'ry 'ands. I think now that 'Den' might have found a different name for the lane. It was a real lane, too, east end of Little Bourke Street, between Exhibition and Spring Streets. It was one of those mysterious looking alleys which had attracted my artist's eye. There was a little old house on the right of it that must have been built in very early days. It had an old white chimney and the walls were dirty white, and when it was moonlight the top of the chimney and the far side of the wall caught a patch of silver from the moon. All behind was black and silver, and down in the darkness a little red light gleamed. Beyond it all, lay the mystery of pug-nosed, squat buildings, sitting on their haunches, dim and foreboding. It was the subject for one of my Nocturnes (I took 'Den' up to see it) 'Down in Rosie's kipsie at the end uv Spadger's Lane'. But the little white house is there no more and the only thing that seems to be left of it is my coloured frontispiece, which appears in the pocket edition of Ginger Mick'.

This book contains a Glossary.

Hal Gye's fine line does not show to advantage in the illustrations to this book for they are printed on a rough surfaced paper. In fact all the Dennis books are printed on paper which does not wear well. It has a tendency to fox very badly.

Series 17. Laura's Golden Jubilee: 1882-1932. A message to Old Lauraites from Clarrie Dennis (The sentimental bloke)

Card folded to 4pp (Item 79)

Contains poem, 'Laura days', 8 verses. Written to celebrate in verse the Golden Jubilee of the little town in South Australia, where Dennis spent much of his time as a young man, and where some of his early verses were written. It is a very frail little collector's item, and is only included here for the interest of Dennis 'completists'.

In folder together with letters from a number of Laura residents to Chaplin and others, recalling memories of Dennis.

Series 18. 'Early life in Auburn and Laura'

Half-leather bound album 'Early life in Auburn and Laura' (Item 80)

A collection of photographs, and letters, and other relevant material concerning the poet's associates and friends in both of the South Australian towns. Dennis's first verses were written in Laura. It was J.P. Cole, the Mayor of Laura, who had the distinction, as Dennis wrote: '...of being the very first to put any of my lines into print'.

Series 19. 'I dips me lid' to the Sydney Harbour Bridge (Sydney, n.d.), [1932]

In heavy card covers, with device of the Bridge (Item 81)

Issued: 'With compliments from Lewis Berger & Sons (Australia) Ltd'. Inscribed: 'Presented to Harry Chaplin by Hal Gye, January 1952'.

Bound in dark green cloth over the original covers. With pencil drawing on end-paper of C.J. Dennis 'On his way to Menzies: C.J.D. The Toff'. The poet is making his way into the Saloon Bar of the hotel.

Together with autograph letter from Hal Gye to Chaplin: 'Dear Harry Chaplin: I don't know how it came about that 'Den' dipped the lid to Sydney Harbour Bridge. But 'Den' was always keen on money - and even though he had received £18,000 altogether with his poetry, play and picture (so he told me) he at times became nervous and feared that funs might run low...Easy to imagine such fears, too, for when in town, he stayed for fairly long periods at Menzies Hotel, and anyone passing the entrance to this hotel would often hear Market Street fill to the loud and important cry: 'Mister-er-er Dennis's Taxi-i-i-i!'...All the waiters and attendants of Menzies waited on the famous C.J.D. hand and foot an the famous C.J.D. distributed 2 bob-pieces as falls the gentle rain from heaven - so maybe the great bridge, at an opportune time, helped to line 'Den's' silver heaven. Anyway, why shouldn't a poet write an advertisement? If the N.S.W. Railways would commission me I'd compose a most laudatory poem to the Grand Central lavatory, and for 5/- too. Hal Gye and James Hackston'.

Bound in full leather over the original covers (Item 82)

With pencil drawing of C.J. Dennis as 'The Bloke'.

Together with letter from Lewis Berger & sons, 15 February 1963, replying to a query about the brochure. They write: '...This company was closely associated with the Bridge at the time of its construction as we supplied all the paint used originally (approximately 60,000 gallons) and it was decided apparently, that this success should be promoted to all our customers in Australia. This brochure was the means adopted to pass on this message of successful association with such a large project as the bridge. Mr C.J. Dennis was commissioned to write the poem by this company and no one seems to recall just how many copies were run off, but it would appear that at least 20,000 were run initially, and we do not believe any further reprints were made. The original manuscript is known to have been retained by the company, although at the time of writing, cannot be located. Unfortunately, I cannot find a spare copy and copies owned privately, none other appears to exist. The publication occurred in 1932 and was printed by John Sands, Sydney, and copyright was registered'. This letter from the Advertising Manager to Chaplin

Also with the above copy is autograph letter from Hal Gye to Chaplin April 14, 1954, with mention of this brochure.

Series 20. The singing garden (Sydney: Angus and Robertson), 1935

First and only edition. Original green cloth. With frontispiece which is a fine photograph of 'Arden', the home of C.J. Dennis at Toolangi.

This series consists of three copies

1st copy inscribed: 'For Bid with love from Den, 'Arden' 20 October 1936' (Item 83(a))

Further inscribed: 'To Harry Chaplin with kind regards from Madge Dennis, December 31, 1954'.

Second copy with long inscription over both end-papers by Hal Gye, describing his early visits to Toolangi (Item 84(b))

When the home was 'once a half-shack, then a two-storey joint...Birds! They were laid on. A bower bird, if you please, on the verandah one morning...Then 'Den' holding out his hand with a fair dinkum live mountain thrush easing out of it...' A nostalgic reminiscence by the artist. Together with photograph of the monument to Dennis at 'Arden'.

Third copy (Item 85(c))

With full-page drawing in colour by Hal Gye on end-paper with his note: 'Here is the home of C.J. Dennis as I first saw it in 1914, just an old shack, with some land, and 'Den' acquired the lot for £7, so he once told me. Looking at the fine garden of shrubs and flowers surrounding it today, Dennis fans of those days would never dream that the 'joint' ever looked like this, May 1942, Hal Gye'.

The frontispiece was repeated on the dust-jacket with which the book was issued. This splendid picture shows the garden in all its beauty, as it used to be. Credit for the garden must go to Mrs Dennis. She built it up from the bare soil, designed the flower beds, and planted the shrubs, tending it all with loving care. It was her hobby and her joy. The new part of the house was built on to the end of Dennis's old shack. He was a very good carpenter, and a capable plumber, and helped with the building. After his death the house was sold for seven hundred pounds by his widow.

The book was dedicated to Hugh Adam and his wife Lysbeth, friends of Mr and Mrs Dennis. The book contains some decorations, they are unsigned but may have been made by Pixie O'Harris, who designed the end-papers.

Series 21. Selected verse of C.J. Dennis Chosen and introduced by Alec H. Chisholm (Sydney: Angus and Robertson), 1950

Original blue cloth (Item 86)

With drawings in colour of C.J. Dennis and Hal Gye, on end-paper. With inscription: 'Dear Harry Chaplin: Here we are - 'Den' and his illustrator. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye. January 1954'. 'P.S. See page 112. H.G.'.

Upon page 112 is illustration depicting a bushman overlooking a shack, with Hal Gye's annotation thereon: 'The picture of shack is not Den's Toolangi shack'. 'Dear Harry: Don't blame me for this, it was drawn by some 'foreign' artist. It was drawn for the cloth cover of Jim of the hills, with more solid blacks in it. This one looks like a second drawing. It is one of two drawings by someone else that broke in somehow. The other one is the Digger Smith cover. They are the only two 'outsiders' among the C.J.D. books. Dunno how it happened. Yours Hal'. [The dust-jacket for this book depicts a series of Dennis characters quite out of harmony with the poet's creations. I 'dunno' either why Hal Gye was not asked to supply a suitable jacket. Chaplin]

Tipped into this copy is long series of notes about the poem, 'The singing soldiers', by Hal Gye. The poem was set to music and often sung by Howard White. The first printing of this book was an edition of 9873 copies in December 1950, priced at 12/6. Later a further 10054 copies were issued, priced at 15/- in September 1951. A third printing of 5000 copies was issued in May 1953, priced at 15/-. Allowing for 1687 copies on hand at December 1953, the total sales to that time were 23240. No figures were available to me after that date.

NOTE: In 1929 Dennis was discussing by correspondence the issue of a Collected Edition; copy of a letter from C.J.D. to George Robertson, partly in typescript and autograph, is included in this copy, dated March 22, 1929.

Series 22. Random verse by C J Dennis (Melbourne: Hallcraft Publishing), 1952

First edition. Brown linen covers. Sml.4to

This series consists of two copies

Inscribed: 'To Harry Chaplin with best wishes Biddy Dennis, December 27, 1952' (Item 87(a))

Tipped into this copy is autograph manuscript of poem by Hal Gye, signed by him with his pseudonym 'James Hackston', 'Den - a memory', published in the Bulletin, October 29, 1952 (Item 88(b))

This book contains a collection of poetry and prose collected by and with Foreword by Margaret Herron (Mrs Dennis).

Included in the contents is the poem 'To a dead mate', written by Dennis to the memory of Henry Lawson.

George Robertson in a letter to C.J. Dennis, written 16 May 1929, after discussing a novel by Mrs Dennis, which he proposed to publish, writes: '...By the way, Professor Tucker told me that he placed you first among Australian poets for imagination and craftsmanship. I am sending Mrs D. a copy of Vanished tribes by Devaney. I place him top for rhythmic prose, so please consider that settled, whatever you may think of the Tucker dictum. Dennis and Devaney! Ye gods, and not a drop of Scots blood in their veins...'

Many of Dennis's lines lilt and sing, and are described as 'light verse'. Dylan Thomas's obscure nonsense is described as 'poetry'. Why?

The dust-jacket for Random verse was designed by R.C. Skale.

Series 23. 'Just Miss Mix': the author's work book

Exercise book (Item 89)

Inside the cover of which the author has written: 'Please return to C.J. Dennis, The Herald, Melbourne'.

These verses entitled: 'Just Miss Mix: the chronicles of a little town', appeared serially in the Herald, Melbourne. Each episode was illustrated by Percy Leason.

Into this book the author has pasted the clippings as they appeared up to episode 12. From then on the synopsis for the remaining verses has been written in by the author, in pencil.

Their titles are:

XIII I told you so.

XIV Wagtails.

XV Noddy's Hill.

XVI Bribery.

XVII Grass widow.

XVIII Doogan's end.


XX My Hilary John.

Dennis's final note reads: 'The book ends on a happy note with the two children romping with Doogan's dog'.

Dennis evidently had in mind publishing the verses in book form. 'Wagtails' had already appeared as IV in the published series, and at XIV he has written, 'Wagtails No. IV in this book follows here', so he was possibly making some changes in the sequence of the verses.

Bound in half-leather over the original covers, together with two autograph letters from Mrs Dennis to Chaplin, commenting on this book, and making references to Guy Innes, and other matters of interest.

Dennis had a long association with The Herald. The company paid the bill, seventy pounds, for his funeral, and they also made weekly payments to his widow, for several years.

Series 24. Broadsheets

A small assemblage of broadsheets by C.J. Dennis (Item 90)

(a) ARMISTICE: To his dead cobber from The Sentimental Bloke. n.d.

(b) IN THE SILENCE: Armistice Day, 1929. Inscribed: 'For Dr R.H. Strong. With kind regards. C.J. Dennis'.

(c) STEWARDSHIP Armistice Day, 1930. Inscribed: 'Dr R.H. Strong. With kind regards. C.J. Dennis'.

(d) THISTLEDOWN (A poem in memory of Madame Pavlova, reprinted from The Herald, Melbourne. 24.1.31).

Bound in half-leather folder, together with letters to and from the late J.K. Moir, from whom I received the broadsheets as a gift.

For years J.K. Moir, O.B.E. kept open house at this home 474 Bridge Road, Richmond, Victoria. His magnificent library was always available to anyone wishing to use it. His rooms were a rendezvous and a meeting place where all were welcome. Many of his visitors abused their privileges, drank his liquor, wore out his books for bibliographical and other purposes; often they stole some of his choicest items. J.K. knew this and in one letter to me (included in this folder) dated 16.12.53, he wrote: '...I can sympathise with you re the giving without any reciprocation. Am getting 'fed up'. Am closing 474 on 20th until further notice. Some of the 'bots' received the news with consternation ...Cheerio. If you do come over let me know when you will be visiting me - otherwise I mightn't answer the door...'

A fine photograph of C.J. Dennis is included in this folder, together with other material including some illustrations of Pavlova and her company. A catalogue of the sale at auction of many of J.K. Moir's pictures and other effects, 7.11.58, is tipped in.

When Dennis was very ill near the end, it was Dr Strong who put him into hospital and attended him.

Series 25. Typescripts by C.J. Dennis

'Limpy Ben' A poem 22 pages (Item 91(a))

4to. Inscribed: 'Dear Harry Chaplin. This was written by Den about 1920, but we could never find a publisher for it. Biddy Dennis'.

'Feathers and fables' A poem (Item 91(b))

25 pages. 4to. Inscribed: 'Dear Mr Chaplin: I tried to get this published the same time as 'Limpy Ben'. I think they were written as Christmas books. I was never very keen on them. Yours sincerely, Biddy Dennis'.

'All in the day's work: the story of a forest fire' (Item 91(c))

17 pages. 4to. Inscribed: 'For Harry Chaplin from Hal Gye, January 1952'. This typescript is unsigned, but has a number of Dennis's corrections in pencil.

Together with autograph notes by Hal Gye, 'Den's Prose'. He comments upon the various articles which the author wrote for the Melbourne Weekly Times. On the subject of bush fires he relates the narrow escapes the home at Toolangi had from destruction in the frequent bush fires in the vicinity. Signed 'Hal Gye and James Hackston'.

Bound together in half-leather folder.

'Limpy Ben' (Item 92)

'Feathers and fables' (Item 93)

Duplicate typescripts of these poems, both of which are inscribed by Mrs Dennis. Bound separately in green cloth.

Bound in half-leather folder (Item 94)

Contains amongst others:

Script of poem: 'The bar-room patriot'. 3pp. fcp. Signed by Dennis from his address at that time, 17 Hastings Road, Upper Hawthorn, Victoria.

It also contains typescript of 'Ingavar', a poem written after a weekend at 'Sunnyside', accompanied by autograph letter from Mrs Gwen Eastaugh to Chaplin, relating the circumstances. The poem is a skit upon Gye, Low and Dennis himself, in which Garry Roberts is labelled as 'The Lord High Potte'. Other typescripts are of poems 'Ecce Homo', and 'The tents of Toolangi'. Included also are copies of letters by A.R. Chisholm to Mrs Gwen Eastaugh, the daughter of Garry Roberts. Also letters from Mrs Eastaugh to Chaplin.

NOTE. The principal characters in the epic poem 'Ingavar' (the name of a property acquired by Garry Roberts for his son Frank to cultivate) were the 'Davlo Owl', the 'Halgi Tit', the 'Denawk' and the 'Lord High Potte' (Garry Roberts). A few lines:

'Loud laughed ye mocking deadwode tree;

Goe search y neere, and seeke ye far,

I wot in vaine your quest will bee

For him, ye Potte of Ingavar.

In armoud clad and cap-a-pie

Ye stoute Sir Hal rode thro' the glen

And by hys side wi' flashing eye

Rode gallantlee ye Lorde of Den.

Now glances of ye wayside lass

Drew downe that gaze that searched afar,

As they rodedowne thro' Sassafrasse

To seeke ye Potte of Ingavar...'

Strange that Dennis should have included David Low in the poem, for he had only once visited 'Sunnyside'.

The poem 'Beef tea' in The sentimental bloke was written by Dennis as a tribute to Mrs J.G. (Garry) Roberts of 'Sunnyside'. Dennis always referred to her as his 'guardian angel'.

Series 26. Albums

Album: C.J. Dennis -- Hal Gye Large album bound in half-morocco (Item 95)

Contains, amongst other things the following:

Large coloured drawing of C.J. Dennis by Hal Gye: 'Den' of the forest (Item 95(a))

A caricature made by Gye in Melbourne for Sun News Pictorial.

Photograph of 'Arden' the home of C.J. Dennis in Toolangi (Item 95(b))

'All credit for the garden must be given to 'Den's' Biddy...The garage is on the left. Struth! A poet with a car. I saw the house grow up...' Comment by Hal Gye.

Dennis's stencil portrait of Hal Gye (Item 95(c))

'...He sat in front of the fire one evening and cut it out with his pocket knife...He was very pleased with it...I'm sending one to Bill FitzHenry to put with his Gye-Hackston notes. Yours sincerely, James Hackston Gye'.

Autograph letter from the youthful Dennis to his brother Bertie, written from Gladstone, June 7, 1884 (Item 95(d))

'Dear Bertie: I hope you are quite well and I hope you are injoing yourself. We have killed all the six pigs and the lamb do you feel sorry that the lamb is kill it was very fat and it made such nice meat. I made a nice play house...Win Pollit helped me to build it; but then I pulled it down again and rebuilt it...I must now finish my letter and have my tea. Your loving brother, C. Dennis'.

Typescript of poem by 'James Hackston' - 'The Dennis omelette', October 7, 1953 (Item 95(e))

Published in the Bulletin

Typescript of poem by 'James Hackston' - 'A memory' to C.J. Dennis, October 29, 1952 (Item 95(f))

Published in the Bulletin. This script is generously corrected and 'improved' in the writer's autograph.

Autograph letter from C.J. Dennis to F.S. Shenstone (Item 95(g))

Requesting a favour for a friend.

Autograph letter from Mrs Dennis to Hal Gye, n.d (Item 95(g))

'...Then I got back home and a letter from Angus & Robertson. No returns. All books out of print...The worst blow of all was Angus & Robertson, when there was money about they could never send it until about three months overdue, but when there is no money they can let me know pronto. Damn their eyes!! I knew last July the edition of The bloke had sold out and said to Cousins in a letter that I expected another edition; that was over six months go, so they can't say they are waiting on the printers. They are so long with other stuff and meanwhile a poor widow can starve...'

Subsequently the publishers purchased the copyrights of Dennis's work. When they issued the Collected Dennis it sold very well.

Manuscript draft in pencil by C.J. Dennis for a new book, with the chapter headings set out and with notes for their construction (Item 95(i))

Also the provision for glossary. Evidently to have some political overtones: 'Workman going to Union meeting...The Pommy agitator, Profiteer verse, The bookler, (patriotic societies), Politics party system'. This is accompanied by autograph notes by Hal Gye, commenting upon Dennis's systematic programming of his writing. With further note on manuscript: 'Here's dear old 'Den's' note or plan for a new work...How like his thoroughness...'

Typescript of poem by C.J. Dennis 'Veni, Vidi, Vici', signed and addressed as written from 107 Burke Road, Camberwell, Victoria and sent to the Bulletin (Item 95(j))

Photograph of Sir John Monash sitting for his portrait by James Quinn, (Item 95(k))

accompanied by typewritten letter (signed) in which General Monash writes that three chaplains of the forces agreed with his views and undertook to deliver a series of sermons to the troops after the evacuation of Gallipoli, and upon the sands of Eygpt, in 1916. A very pleasant, friendly letter to C.J. Dennis from Australia's greatest soldier.

Autograph letter from John Masefield to C.J. Dennis, written from Boar's Hill, Oxford, n.d (Item 95(l))

'I send you my sincere thanks for your very generous poem in the Herald. I hope that we may some day meet, and that I may then have the pleasure of thanking you in person...'

Autograph notes by Hugh McCrae, in which there is some mention of C.J. Dennis (Item 95(m))

Autograph letter from T. Inglis Moore to Dora Wilcox (Moore) in praise of Dennis's poetry (Item 95(n))

Autograph letter from Dame Mary Gilmore to 'James Hackston' praising his Bulletin writings (Item 95(o))

Series of illustrated envelopes by Hal Gye, sending some of his writings to Chaplin Very exuberant drawings in colour (Item 95(p))

Album: C.J. Dennis -- Hal Gye (Item 96)

Autograph letters from Mrs Dennis to Hal Gye (Item 96(q))

Much about Dennis and their mutual friends. Written from her home at Frankston, Victoria.

Official communications from Allied Works Council, Melbourne, to Hal Gye, (Item 96(r))

ordering him to report for enrolment in the Civil Construction Corps, during the last War, with Hal Gye's humorous drawings, and comments thereon, respecting his agreed unfitness for the tasks.

Autograph letters from Mrs Gwen Eastaugh, respecting her Dennis material, accompanied by a series of photographs sent to Chaplin, depicting C.J. Dennis and many of the friends who foregathered at 'Sunnyside' (Item 96(s))

Interesting letters which describe Dennis's methods of working, and his friendship with her family.

'The Dennis penny' (Item 96(t))

A scarce little item. A replica of a one penny piece, with The Sentimental Bloke and Doreen on face and reverse. To advertise the moving picture of the book.

Autograph letters from the Hon. E.G. Theodore to Hal Gye (Item 96(u))

these concern paintings which had been sent to the politician by the artist for his selection and purchase. One letter written in the true proletarian spirit reads: '...I have taken three of the paintings you have submitted and enclose a cheque for twelve guineas. This is slightly less than the marked prices, but I believe you will agree to call it a bargain...'

Dust-jacket by Hal Gye for Rose of Spadgers accompanied by pencil drawing of 'Rose' (Item 96(v))

Carbon copies of letters sent by C.J. Dennis to George Robertson, (Item 96(w))

mainly concerning a proposed edition of Selected poems, and a proposal to issue gramophone records of some of his verses.

[NOTE: items 95 and 96 are together in the one album]

C.J. Dennis by Hal Gye (Item 97)

A large album containing photographs and pen and ink and pencil drawings of himself and C.J. Dennis, which cover a great range of their friendship and activities together. Amongst other things the album contains:

Photographs of C.J. Dennis, accompanied by his 'Word hound', sitting outside his shack (Item 97(a))

Group photograph of Hal Gye, David Lowe and C.J. Dennis on the verandah at Toolangi (Item 97(b))

Photograph of Hal Gye taken in his garden at Armadale (Item 97(c))

Coloured drawing of Dennis's shack at Toolangi, with note by Hal Gye, that it was used to accompany his articles in the Melbourne Herald (Item 97(d))

Crayon drawing of the shack at Toolangi (Item 97(e))

Pencil drawing of Dennis going up for the mail (Item 97(f))

Drawing of Dennis with note: (Item 97(g))

'When I first met 'Den' he took me up the mountain'. Mount St Leonard was at the rear of the shack.

Drawing of Gye and Dennis sleeping on the verandah 'covered with anything 'Den' could find' (Item 97(h))

Drawing of Hal Gye smelling the wild violets which grew near the creek (Item 97(i))

Drawings of Dennis as his 'Sentimental Bloke', struck by Cupid's arrow, with note (Item 97(j),(k),(l))

'I introduced C.J. Dennis to his wife'. Also drawings of Gye and Dennis 'The two cupids, the poet and his illustrator'. Drawing of Bill and Doreen, both run to fat with comment: 'After all the years I reckon that both my cupids, Doreen and Bill, must be brought up to date and show the ravages of time'.

Drawing by Gye of Dennis as one of his own Glugs, wearing a very tall hat (Item 97(m))

Drawing by Gye of one of his 'Little Lon' girls (Item 97(n))

Drawing in crayon of Hal Gye, accompanied by two policemen doing the rounds of 'Lillee Bourke', 'Little Lon' and 'Spadger's Lane' which enabled him to give Den the 'low down' on these dark and sinister places (Item 97(o))

Pencil drawing of 'Ginger Mick' (Item 97(p))

Pencil drawing of Gye being chased by Chinamen in 'Lillee Bourke' (Item 97(q))

In addition to the above there are 4 large pages of pencil and pen and ink drawings, all relating to incidents in various of the Dennis books.

C.J. Dennis and Hal Gye [folio] (Item 98)

Large album. Fcp. 111 pages. Containing correspondence between Chaplin and Hal Gye, originals and copies, together with many clippings from newspapers and journals, concerning the work of both, in their respective fields. Also included are theatre programmes for the dramatic and ballet sequences built around the Dennis books.

Series 27. Miscellaneous

The Dennis bookplate (Item 99)

Hal Gye's original pen and ink description for a bookplate for H.F.C Dennis Collection. A beautiful drawing of Dennis's shack at Toolangi, with Mount St Leonard in the background.

This is the original pen and ink design of bookplate for the Hackston items in the Harry F. Chaplin Collection. Featuring 'James Hackston's Old Home - Black Range'. With this is the original letter sent to W.E. FitzHenry of the Bulletin 'confessing' that the identities of Hal Gye and 'James Hackston' are one and the same. Dated at Armadale 17 June 1953. Written in reply to a request to 'James Hackston' for some biographical details for a special issue of the Bulletin. For years Bill FitzHenry wrote solemn letters to James Hackston unaware that he was addressing his old pal Hal Gye. It was a pleasant little deception enjoyed by the few 'in the know'.

'The story of C.J. Dennis' by Hal Gye (Item 100)

Autograph manuscript. 80pp. Fcp. The author's first draft. With frontispiece and illustrated title page drawn by the author.

Bound in citron half-morocco by Riviere.

In the introduction the author writes: 'A memory and account of the poet; of his doings before the publication of The sentimental bloke and to the end of his days'. This is a gossiping yarn by the artist of how 'Den' worked; the methods of his versification; and how he came by his ideas and carried them out. Nobody was more fitted to write of Dennis than his illustrator, who was also his friend and companion for so many years. The manuscript runs to approximately 45,000 words, and is uncompleted.

Dennis's wages-book (Item 101)

An exercise book in similar format to the Glugs Work Book with his label on front Wages Book. The preliminary pages have been extracted. Inscribed: 'God Stone the Crows! Dear Harry Chaplin: Never, right through the ages from the days of Homer to the present has one ever heard of a poet keeping a wages-book, and paying the wages, too, if you please. This book, from which Den has deleted the first four pages, was the record of the money's paid by him to the various timber hands employed by him in the disastrous enterprise known as Dennis and Smedley's Saw Mill. Hal Gye, January 1958'. This book is just a curious piece of Dennisiana.

Australia see thy guiding star (Melbourne: Allan Co), 1956 (Item 102)

Part song. For mixed voices. Words by C.J. Dennis. Music by William G. James. Unbound as issued.

The Gadfly Adelaide, S.A. [folio], February 14, 1906 - February 24, 1909 (Item 103)

The numbers are bound in three volumes of unequal size overall, as the page size of the magazine varied over the period of its publication. Found in at the end of Volume 3 is original pen and ink drawing by Ambrose Dyson, which had appeared in the magazine.

This set was acquired from Mr A.E. Martin, one of the original founders of the venture. One number has the signature of Beaumont Smith, also one of the founders. The number for July 31, 1907 has been omitted from the binding. This number is also missing from the Mitchell Library copy.

Although sought by collectors for its Dennis association, the magazine makes equal appeal to Lindsay collectors, for Ruby Lindsay was a prolific contributor and enlivened the pages with her youthful drawings. Other artists whose work appeared were: Will Dyson, Ambrose Dyson, Hal Gye, Syd. Ure Smith, Percy Lindsay and Will Donald.

A Gadfly miscellany (Item 104)

A collection of correspondence, drawings, etc. Amongst the letters are several from A.E. Martin and J. Gillingham to A.H. Chisholm and others. Original pen drawings are included by Will Dyson, J.A. Pearce and others, which appeared in the magazine. Included also is C.J. Dennis's visiting card, with his name engraved thereon: 'C.J. Dennis: The Gadfly', with his autograph on the reverse.

Norman Lindsay's book (Sydney: New South Wales Bookstall), 1912 (Item 105)

Contains C.J. Dennis's story 'A Pageant of Empire', with illustrations by Norman Lindsay.

In half-morocco binding over the original coloured wrappers. Together with Norman Lindsay's original pen drawing illustrating an episode in the story, and reproduced at page 86.

The yellow dragon No. 2, Vol. XVI, October 1913 (Item 106)

Published by Queen's College, Hong Kong

Contains a long poem by C.J. Dennis, 'Son of a fool'. This is a reply to those who at that time were opposing the introduction of compulsory military training by the then Labour Government. The poem had appeared previously in the Bulletin. It is mentioned by Margaret Herron (Mrs Dennis) in her book Down the years. She has also annotated this copy.

In editorial comment: 'We draw attention to the powerful lines 'Son of a fool' ...lines that can only be addressed to the small and uninfluential minority who object to the working of the military system of Home Defence in the Commonwealth of Australia'.

Melba's gift book of Australian art and literature. (Melbourne: George Robertson Co), [1915] (Item 107)

Light green silken cloth. Sml. 4to.

Inserted is Dennis's typescript for his contribution, 'The year around in timber land', with his stamp thereon, dated July 15, and that it is for this publication. He has made several corrections in pencil.

Inserted also is paragraph about Melba by Norman Lindsay to appear in the Bulletin, with added note in autograph addressed to the Editor, David Adams.

Included also are two programmes for concerts to be given in Melbourne by Melba (November 1918). She was to sing operatic arias by Mozart, Donizetti, and Thomas, also songs by Henri Duparc, Claude Debussy, Rimsky-Korsakov, Ernest Chausson and H. Bemberg. So much for the famous canard, 'Sing 'em muck'. One of the programmes is for a concert to aid the funds of the Lady Northcote Permanent Orchestra, Melbourne. To assist this orchestra she presented the Trust with a complete set of brass instruments.

This book was issued to assist the Belgian Relief Fund. Dennis's story although printed as prose reads well as poetry, much of the text being composed in iambic pentameters. The last few lines look well too, when put into verse-lengths.

Hal Gye is also represented in this book by his painting at page 52, 'Evening in the dead timber, South Sassafras', about which he writes that the rough sketch was made some evening at dusk when he was sitting on the top of Dennis's bus, at Toolangi.

Violet verses Adelaide, S.A. n.d, [1917] (Item 108)

Issued in wrappers. 8vo. Contains foreword by Henry Lawson, and poem, 'Seed of pioneers', by C.J. Dennis. Leon Gellert contributed 2 poems.

This copy is bound in full morocco over the original wrappers. Tipped in is typewritten letter from C.J. Dennis (signed with a very indistinct signature) to David McKee Wright, praising his poetry and asking for a copy of Irish Hearts to be sent to him, and enclosing 3/6 in payment.

Robb, E.M. Early Toorak and district (Melbourne: Robertson Mullens), 1934 (Item 109)

Brown buckram. With poem by C.J. Dennis, 'Melbourne 1835-1930', printed as a prefatory note. This is accompanied by long inscription by Hal Gye to Chaplin: '...Mathoura Road should bring back many pleasant memories. Did you not, days past, tear down it to catch 'the last'...and again Sir, Mrs C.J. Dennis (Biddy) herself lived in the same Mathoura Road, at one time, corner of Toorak Road. Why, Biddy and Harry, and James and Hal have added to the importance of it. Aye, the fame of it. Yours sincerely, Hal Gye'.

Chisholm, Alec H. The making of a sentimental bloke Melbourne: Georgian House, 1945 (first edition) (Item 110(a))

Original fawn cloth. Inscribed: 'For Harry Chaplin with my personal, ornithological, encyclopaedic and Sentimental-blokish, benediction - Alec H. Chisholm, Sydney, May 1952. - Which is a pretty stout collection of adjectives for stiff fingers to cope with on a Damned Cold Day'.

Tipped into this copy is autograph letter from Guy Innes, to Chaplin. Written from London Hospital, Whitechapel, August 21, 1951. Amongst other matters he writes about the sketch of Den's life which was published in Canada, and for which he received ten guineas, but that he has not ever seen a copy in print.

Chisholm, Alec H. The making of a sentimental bloke Melbourne: Georgian House, 1945 (first edition) (Item 111(b))

With this copy is letter from Professor Morris Miller to Chaplin. He replies to my query about In the garden of Arden attributed to C.J. Dennis,*and listed by him in Australian literature, and that he cannot recollect the circumstances that caused the entry to be made and 'is trying to salvage something from the realm of amnesia'. Also enclosed is letter from Guy Innes to Alec Chisholm, which is full of Dennis reminiscences.

Accompanying the above is budget of correspondence to and from Alec Chisholm when the book was in preparation. There are a number of photographs of Dennis interest, not all of which were included in the book. There are also three letters from Mrs Dennis to the author in which she makes suggestions for alterations. Finally she wrote that the book is 'well turned out, good print and excellent illustrations. I wish you every success with it'.

Herron, Margaret Down the years: the life story of C.J. Dennis (Item 112(a))

As told by his wife. (Melbourne: Hallcraft Publishing, 1953)

First edition. Original red cloth. Inscribed: 'Dear Harry Chaplin. Den used to say that a kindly act was like tossing a stone in a pool of water. The ripples being far reaching. Sincerely yours, Margaret Herron'.

Together with autograph letter from Mrs Dennis to Chaplin in which she complains about a T.V. talk about Dennis. '...I thought it very poor. Did you see it? One remark was made about Den that caused a lot of comment among my friends. I fear the A.B.C. will be getting some letters. I thought it uncalled for...' She writes in her letter that she is sending a letter which she has received from John Masefield. Enclosed also is the autograph letter from John Masefield to Mrs Dennis. '...We enjoyed the drives and the happy stay with you, and all the birds, brooks and flowers...You were both very nice to us, and we shall remember you with gratitude...'

Some photographs are also included with this copy.

Herron, Down the years: the life story of C.J. Dennis, 1953 (Item 113(b))

As told by his wife. (Melbourne: Hallcraft Publishing)

Together with letter from Mrs Dennis to Chaplin announcing the sending of a copy of this book inscribed: 'To Harry Chaplin with best wishes from Madge Dennis'. Mention in the letter of her honeymoon in Sydney where she met Rod Quinn: '...He sent me some flowers with a little verse, Den was a bit peeved, I thought it wonderful...' Enclosed also is photograph of group at Toolangi, comprised of C.J. Dennis, Roger Webb, and John Masefield.

Gye, Hal. The sentimental bloke and the Burnie Mill Burnie: Association Pulp and Paper Mills, 1959 (Item 114)

First impression. Original grey paper wrappers. 8vo.

A very attractive piece of printing, featuring a poem by Hal Gye, accompanied by some of his 'cupid' illustrations.

Bound in green cloth over the original wrappers preserved.

Together with Hal Gye's draft for poem 'Lillee Bourke', a typescript with his many alterations, and corrections. Signed 'James Hackston', and published by the Bulletin, November 14, 1951. Also pencil drawing 'James Hackston walks to town, Hal Gye, 1952'.

McLaren, Ian F. C.J. Dennis: his life and work Melbourne, 1961 (Item 115)

Original red wrappers. 8vo.

Bound in green cloth over the original wrappers preserved.

Tipped in are autograph notes by Hal Gye, answering some bibliographic queries. Also included is letter from the author to Chaplin listing further items which he has discovered for inclusion in his Dennis bibliography.

The author's bibliography therein is a very useful guide to the 'completist'. Ian McLaren's book is complementary to Alec Chisholm's biography. Between them they say almost all that is to be said about the life of C.J. Dennis.

Blandford, Monty Philosopher's scrap book: an anthology of prose and verse, (Melbourne: Hallcraft Publishing) [folio], 1950 (Item 116)

First edition. Original blue cloth. Sml. 4to.

A selection from various sessions broadcast by 3DB Melbourne. Dennis is represented by a number of his verses.

Blandford, Monty Philosopher's note book: an anthology of prose and verse, (Melbourne: Hallcraft Publishing) [folio], 1951 (Item 117)

First edition. Original red cloth. Sml. 4to.

A further selection from various sessions broadcast by 3DB and other stations. The contents of this book, as with the previous copy, cover a very wide field, and include the work of British and American authors. C.J. Dennis is represented, as is also Will H. Ogilvie, who once wrote a poem about Dennis which appeared in the Bulletin.

The poems of Joseph Furphy Edited by Kate Baker, Melbourne, 1916 (Item 118)

Boards. Canvas back. Paper label. Fcp. 4to. With Foreword by Bernard O'Dowd.

Inscribed by Kate Baker: 'To Mr C.J. Dennis, with every good wish, K.B. New Year, 1917'.

With this typewritten letter from Miles Franklin (signed 'Miles') to a friend commenting upon her visit to Perth and meeting there the daughter of Joseph Furphy 'who is a wonderful person, who brought out many mementos'. She also sends donation of 5/- to the Roderic Quinn Memorial Fund. Also autograph letter from Kate Baker to Frank Neilson inviting him to be present at a function to commemorate his brother, Shaw Neilson.

This letter is to Lucy Cassidy, friend and benefactor of Rod Quinn. Miles Franklin regrets the small donation, writing that her assured income dwindled in the previous year to only two pounds each week, and anticipates that it may disappear entirely any day. '...but I suppose there will be soup kitchens'.

In his Foreword Bernard O'Dowd makes some denigratory remarks about Dennis's poetry, the sentimental bloke and his 'tart', 'Brogan's Lane' and 'Little Lon'. But 'Den' would only have been amused, and well he might be, for at this time the sales of The sentimental bloke had passed 76,000 and were to double in a few years.

Baerlein, Henry Heine: the strange guest (London: Geoffrey Bles) [folio], 1928 (Item 119)

Dennis's review copy, used by him whilst engaged on The Herald, Melbourne. Upon end paper is long autograph note by Hal Gye. After comment upon his ancestor director of Covent Garden and his promotion of the music of Berlioz, mentioned muchly in the book by Heine, continues: '...Contrary to current opinion 'Den' was extremely well-read and could express himself fluently on the great poets. But in the company in which he often found himself (like the Birdnesters, for instance) he always kept his conversation down to the general intellectual level'.

Series 32. Short stories by 'James Hackston'

Short stories (Item 120-22)

Typescripts and autograph manuscripts of the following short stories, some of which appeared in the Bulletin:


Mother and son

The new song


Sunday morning at Jules's place



The hob-nailed boots

The stork

They drove to town

Bit the hand that fed them

Preserved in cloth portfolios. Each story is accompanied by long autograph note to Chaplin from the author relevant to its composition and publication.

Container List

Container No. Item Nos.
Box 1 1-20
Box 2 21, 23-38
Box 3 39-56
Box 4 57-67
Box 5 68-79
Box 6 80-86
Box 7 87-97
Box 8 97-102
Box 9 102-107
Box 10 108-115, 118, 120, 122
Folio Box 1 22
Folio Box 1 98
Folio Box 2 103 (vol. 1)
Folio Box 2 116
Folio Box 2 117
Folio Box 2 119
Folio Box 3 103 (vol. 2-3)
Folio Box 4 121