Guide to the Papers of Rolf Hennequel, 1910-1970


MS 2923

National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Collection Summary

Rolf Hennequel
Papers of Rolf Hennequel, 1910-1970
Date Range
Collection Number
MS 2923
2.31 metres (2 packets + 15 ms boxes)
Language of Materials
National Library of Australia


Scope and Contents

MS 2923 comprises correspondence from 1959 to 1969 with writers, publishers and book collectors in Australia and overseas, especially with P.R. Stephensen, Dorothy Blewett, Rigby Graham and Philip Ward. There are proofs of most of the Wattle Grove Press publications between 1959 and 1965, as well as notes on philology and sociology and some earlier publications of Rolf Hennequel (15 boxes, 2 fol. items).

Conditions Governing Access

Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (

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Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions.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 Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.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 Rolf Hennequel, National Library of Australia, [class/series/file number]'.


This collection was donated by Professor Henequel's widow shortly after his death in 1971.

Rolf Hennequel himself had made donations to the National Library. In 1964 he presented The Albin Eiger Antinous Collection, which has now been incorporated into MS 2923, series 5, with the rest of the papers on Antinous. It consists of manuscripts, notes, some monographs, negatives of published pictures and photostats of published matter relating to the Antinous cult, and it documents the Wattle Grove Press publication Antinous, the young god, a study in portraiture, of 1958. Another copy of the Antinous manuscript is located at MS 659. In 1965 the unpublished manuscript Gilles de Rays was donated and formed the basis of MS 2923. It includes a microfilm of the Court proceedings against de Rays in Nantes in 1440. Further material on the trial, acquired from Rolf Hennequel, is in MS 1204.

Most of Professor Hennequel's library of books and papers on philology, Buddhism, Japan, China and Afghanistan are held by the University of Tasmania and the State Library of Tasmania.


News item in The Examiner, Launceston, 18 November 1960.

Obituary, The Examiner, 2 February 1971.

Biographical Note

Rolf Hennequel, formerly Henkl, was a writer and publisher whose works, mainly classical in theme, were written using the pseudonym Albin Eiger (a fact he denied to all but the closest acquaintances) as well as his own name. Earlier writings, particularly scholarly ones, bear the name Henkl.

The son of a French mother and a Yugoslav father, Hennequel was born in Vienna in 1897. As a small boy he was taken to China, and it was at St. Joseph's College in Peking that he learnt English. He studied also at Seattle, Cairo, Athens and Paris, and became fluent in French, German, English, Latin, Italian and Spanish and competent in Egyptian hieroglyphics. His studies included classical and oriental languages, archaeology, philology and comparative literature.

During the First World War he served as an officer in the cavalry and general staff of the Imperial Austrian Army. It was here he trained cadets in officers' school in military fencing. He furthered his studies in fencing in Vienna, Rome and Paris and later wrote several works on the subject.

In 1925 he was appointed Professor in the Department of Languages at the University of Tokyo. While in Tokyo he married Claudia Alexeievna, a White Russian. In Paris from 1926 to 1927 he worked as the chief editor of two newspapers. During 1928 he visited Ceylon, India, Japan and China. From 1929 he studied philology and comparative literature at the University of Washington, Seattle. He later took up teaching posts at Shanghai Public Western School (where he also conducted a fencing course), Nedjat School, Kabul from 1949 to 1952, and during the same period, Kabul University, where he was Professor of Letters.

On migrating to Tasmania in 1952, Hennequel taught French, Latin and Art at Launceston State High School, St. Patrick's College, Launceston, Scotch College, Newstead and Launceston Church of England Grammar School. From about 1960 he also conducted lectures in Ancient History and Oriental Studies for the Adult Education Board. During 1955 he wrote articles on Afghanistan for the Current affairs bulletin of the University of Sydney. In the same year he and his wife were naturalised, and in 1957 they moved to Newnham, Tasmania, where the Wattle Grove Press was set up in 1958.

Hennequel published first his own poems and semi-factual scholarly novels. When this program was completed, he embarked on publishing limited editions of works by Pat Flower, Rodney Hall, Howard Mitcham, Marguerite Harris, Wilhelm Hiener, Dorothy Hewett and Philip Ward and conducted lively correspondence with other writers, literary agents and artists, including P.R. Stephensen, Dorothy Blewett and Rigby Graham.

In the later years of the Wattle Grove Press illness hampered Hennequel's activities and in 1969 this forced the closure of the Press. He died on 30 January 1971, survived by his widow Claudia and a married daughter Eleanor.

Item Descriptions

Class MS 2923. Original Consignment

Series 1. General correspondence, 1958-1970

This series comprises personal and literary correspondence and is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed last. Letters dealing specifically with a particular publication are filed in Series 5 with the other papers on that publication. Any articles sent by the correspondents are filed with the letters relating to them.

Many of the correspondents, notably P. R Stephensen, were business acquaintances who later became close friends.

The other main correspondents are Dorothy Blewett, Pat Flower, Rodney Hall, Marcantonio Montes de Oca, Gordon Lasslett, Philip Ward, Dorothy Hewett, Michael Dransfield, John Symonds, L. A Triebel and Elmer Belt. A name index to correspondence appears at the end of this descriptive list. (Refer to the correspondence index - under related documents tab)

Correspondence, personal and literary, 1958-70 (File 1-480) - Box 1 (MS 2923)

Series 2. Business Correspondence, 1929-1969

Although there are some letters from 1929 and 1955, the bulk of this correspondence covers the years 1958 to 1969 and is arranged chronologically with undated items last. It includes letters from publishers, booksellers, librarians, book collectors, literary and other societies, paper manufacturers, as well as answers to various reference enquiries. There is also correspondence regarding literary funds and awards. Letters dealing specifically with Hennequel's publications are filed in Series 5 with the other papers on that publication.

Correspondence from this series is indexed in the name index to correspondence. (Under related documents tab

(Refer to the correspondence index - under related documents tab)

Business correspondence, general enquiries of published works, 1929-69 (File 1-446) - Box 1 (MS 2923)

Series 3. Academic Career

The papers in this series relate to Hennequel's studies and teaching career. They include receipts for fees, letters of recommendation and student record from the University of Washington, Seattle; a Master's class book covering several schools and Kabul University; and lecture notes, press clippings and booklets grouped under the title Sociolo.

General academic papers (File 1-120) - Box 2 (MS 2923)

Series 4. Writings by Hennequel, 1924-1962

This series contains manuscripts, proofs and published versions of books and articles written by Hennequel with the exception of those published by Wattle Grove Press (which are contained in series 5). They date from 1924 to about 1962 and are arranged in a roughly chronological order.

Eiger, Albin. Aussenseiter; erzahlungen 1924-1950 (Typescript) (File 1) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Eiger, Albin. Aussenseiter; stray copies and other writings. (Notes) (File 2-14) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Eiger, Albin. Solitaries (Aussenseiter). (Typescript) (File 15) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. Asketen. Sapporo, Japan, 1935. (Publication) (File 16) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. Some parallels between Buddhist thought andconceptions in contemporary science: Japanese translation by Massao Yokooka. Tokyo? 1934. (Publication) (File 17) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. Forschungsarbeit am sprachunterricht. 1935. (Publication) (File 18) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf . Deutsche gesprachsgrammatik. Tokyo, Verlag Von Ikubundo, 1938. (Publication) (File 19) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Eiger, Albin. Fernostfahrt: eine hymne 1928-1932. Tokyo, 1938. (Publication) (File 20) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. The art of fencing with the foil. Tokyo? n.d. (Publication) (File 21) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. Fencing. Tokyo? 1938? (Published pamphlet) (File 22) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Eiger, Albin. Far East bound. China digest, February 1940. (Publication) (File 23) - Box 2 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. The study of comparative literature; a lecture. University of Calcutta, 1949-1950. (Typescript) (File 24) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. The study of comparative literature. 1949- 1950. (Corrected proofs) (File 25) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. The study of comparative literature. Calcutta, University of Calcutta, 1952. (Two published copied) (File 26-27) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. Gilbert : preface. (Typescript) (File 28) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf and Maston, Robert. Gilbert's pocket dictionary of Chinese characters on mnemonic principles English version. Kabul. 1950. (Typescript) (File 29) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Definition zum Ex Libris Dr G. Spencer. (Typescript) (File 30-37) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf . Afghan clay architecture, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay New series, Vol. 4, no. 1, September 1950. (Publication) (File 38) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf . The wooden sculptures of Kafirstan, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. 16, no. 1, 1950. (Typescript and publication) (File 39-50) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf . The clay images for Fondoukistan, Journal of the Asiatic Society Letters. Vol. 18, no. 2, 1952. (Typescript and publication) (File 51-60) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
The Bamian Valley and its antiquities. (Handwritten draft) (File 61-77) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Memorandum on the treatment of foreign teachers in Afghanistan. (Three typescript copies) (File 78-98) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf . Modern Afghanistan; sketches to an illustrated lecture held in the Geographical Society of N.S.W., Sydney, February 1952. (Typescript) (File 99-102) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf . Philology linguistics : Professor Henkl's lectures condensed. Kabul, Faculty of Literature, University of Kabul, 1951. (Roneoed typescript) (File 103) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. Philology linguistics : a general outline. Kabul, University of Kabul, 1951. (Limited edition for friends and students of the Author) (File 104) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. Philology linguistics. Kabul, 1951. (Uncorrected printer's proof) (File 105-128) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Hennequel, Rolf. Philology linguistics. Peshawar, Pakistan, Feroz Sons, 1952 (Publication) (File 129) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. Stray copies of various German manuscripts of poems and novels of Prof. R. Henkl. (Typescript and printed articles) (File 129a-141) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. Afghanistan old and new. 1955. (Typescript and notes) (File 142-189) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. Speech correction. Written for the Berlitz School of Foreign Languages. Sydney. March 1952. (Typescript and handwritten draft) (File 190-194) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Hennequel, Rolf On pronunciation. (Typescript) (File 195-201) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
PRH On TV pronunciation. (Typescript) (File 202-206) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Australian languages. (Typescript) (File 207-214) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
R. H What we love or What people love, recast into English by Rolf Henkl. (Typescript) (File 215-223) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Eiger, Albin. Hugo von Hofmannsthal in Envoy, Vol. 17, no. 3/4, January/February 1962. (Publication) (File 224) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, Rolf. The history and appreciation of art; a textbook for art classes in the Scotch College, 1952/53. (Roneoed typescript) (File 225-235) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
School art (Handwritten draft) (File 236-247) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Hennequel, Rolf, On school art, 1957. (Typescript, three copies) (File 248-271) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Why is art taught in secondary schools? July 1958. (Roneoed typescript) (File 272-277) - Box 3 (MS 2923)
Henkl, R. Test in appreciation of art. (Roneoed typescript) (File 278-281) - Box 3 (MS 2923)

Series 5. Wattle Grove Press

This series has been divided into two subseries: general papers on the Wattle Grove Press, followed by papers on specific Wattle Grove Press publications. For a complete list of publications by the Wattle Grove Press see Private presses and Australia: with a checklist by Geoffrey Farmer (Melbourne, Hawthorn Press, 1972, pp.48-49.).

Subseries 5(1). Wattle Grove Press: general papers
Includes publication announcements, both in draft and printed form and general articles about the Wattle Grove Press, in manuscript, printed and photocopied form (File 1-53) - Box 4 (MS 2923)
Subseries 5(2). Wattle Grove Press publications, 1958-1968

This subseries is divided into books written by Hennequel (files 54-2067) and books written by other authors (files 2068-2614). Within each group the publications have been placed, wherever possible, in chronological order. All papers relating to a particular publication have been placed together, the arrangement in each case being as follows.

(i) Correspondence

(ii) Publisher/author agreements

(iii) Manuscripts, loose pages, notes

(iv) Proofs and illustrative matter

(v) Book announcements

(vi) Reviews and press clippings

(vii) Miscellaneous

Most of the papers relate to four major works: Eastward, Paris, Solitaries and the unpublished Gilles de Rays. The correspondence has been indexed (Refer to the attached 'Correspondence Index' - under the 'Related Documentation' tab.)

Eiger, Albin. Antinous: a study in the Hadrianic style, 1958, 1958-70 (File 54-104) - Box 4 (MS 2923)
The Albin Eiger Antinous Collection (File 105-441) - Box 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 (MS 2923)
Eastward, 1958, 1964 (File 442-961) - Box 4, 5 (MS 2923)
Paris, 1960 (File 962-1051) - Box 5, 6 (MS 2923)
Solitaries., 1961 (File 1052-1127) - Box 6 (MS 2923)
Red on purple: a dream of the ancient world (originally The tyrannicide) 1962 (File 1228-1342) - Box 7 (MS 2923)
Three Egyptian stories 1962 (File 1343) - Box 7 (MS 2923)
In Capricornia: pointed exotic ballads, 1963 (File 1344-1351) - Box 7 (MS 2923)
Hennequel, Rolf. Vox populi, 1961, 1965 (File 1352-1359) - Box 7 (MS 2923)
Enconuter with Hofmannsthal, 1962 (File 1360-1420) - Box 7 (MS 2923)
Marcantonio Monts de Oca : On the ruins of Babylon with Teiresias. Recast into English by Rolf Hennequel, 1964 (File 1421-1466) - Box 8 (MS 2923)
Gilles de Rays, Marshal of France: the Bluebeard of folklore, 1965 (File 1467-1910) - Box 8 (MS 2923)
Petra: Rigby Graham in Leicester, 1966 (File 1911-2067) - Box 8 (MS 2923)
Flower, Pat, Pistils for two, 1963 (File 2068-2098) - Box 9 (MS 2923)
Hall, Rodney. Forty beads on a hangman's rope, 1963 (File 2099-2147) - Box 9 (MS 2923)
Mitcham, Howard. Four tales from Byzantium, 1964 (File 2148-2268) - Box 9 (MS 2923)
Harris, Marguerite. Risk of the vine, 1965 (File 2269-2359) - Box 9 (MS 2923)
Hiener, Wilhelm. South Africa, 1966 (File 2360-2477) - Box 9 (MS 2923)
Hewett, Dorothy. Hidden journey, 1967 (File 2478-2518) - Box 9 (MS 2923)
Late night bulletin, 1968 (File 2519-2539) - Box 9 (MS 2923)
Ward, Philip, Ambigamous 1967 (File 2540-2614) - Box 9 (MS 2923)
33 poems 1967 (File [unnumbered])

Series 6. Miscellaneous

Grouped in this series are Hennequel's rough notes and jottings, photostats taken from collections in the National Library of Australia, announcements and brochures from various presses, the Hennequels Certificates of Intention to Apply for Naturalisation, printed and photocopied books, leaflets, circulars and excerpts, including a work by Montes de Oca, issues The Bulletin and The Observer, illustrative material, newspaper cutting on Hennequel and miscellaneous photographs.

Miscellaneous (File 1-385) - Box 10 (MS 2923)