Open day guest speaker Michael Wilding

Brisbane Water Historical Society present ‘Names Upon a Stone’ an exhibition that explores the epic life of Henry Kendall and how he found true friendship. Guest speaker is 2015 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards winner; Michael Wilding, Emeritus Professor of English and Australian Literature, University of Sydney, who will be talking about his book ‘Wild Bleak Bohemia’.

Please note at 10:18 Kendall’s first known poem to have been published when he was at Gosford appeared in the Town and Country Journal on 25 April 1874, some six months after he arrived. It was ‘Rover’, a long and gentle tribute to ‘one-eyed Rover. A grave old dog, with tattered ears.’ The setting is unspecific, but it is certainly not urban; he has left that world. It could well be the Fagans’ household, with its guns, dogs, horses, cat and kittens, cattle, and forest prowlers. ‘The Song of the Shingle Splitters’ followed in the Journal a week later on 2 May. Which was actually written first is not known. His next poem ‘The Voice of the Wild Oak’ appeared two months later.

About the book
Meticulously researched using contemporary newspaper reports, court records, published memoirs, private letters and diaries, Michael Wilding tells the story of three troubled geniuses of Australian writing.
The study spreads out to cover the early and later years of the three writers and in doing so, as its centrepiece, recreates literary and Bohemian life in Melbourne in the 1860s. It is aptly subtitled ‘A documentary’, since it shares many of the characteristics of that genre.