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To mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Banjo Paterson, and the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War, NLA Publishing has produced this beautiful cloth-cover facsimile publication of Paterson's poetry.
These small-format books were originally published in 1914 as 'pocket editions for the trenches', designed for soldiers to slip into their back pockets and carry with them through their war days. Probably purchased by wives, girlfriends and mothers, they were a little piece of Australia to relish amongst the horrors of war.
The 47 poems in the book include all the favourites: 'A Bush Christening', 'A Mountain Station', 'Black Swans', 'Clancy of the Overflow', 'Conroy's Gap', 'In the Droving Days', 'Over the Range', 'Our New Horse', 'Saltbush Bill', 'The Man from Snowy River', and 'The Daylight is Dying'. At the back of the book, there are two pages of information about Banjo Paterson and the 'trench pocket-books'.
Norman Lindsay's illustrations on the front and frontispiece depicting droving and a homestead must have had an emotional impact on the fighting men so far away.
A great Father's Day present or Christmas gift.
Andrew Barton "Banjo" Paterson (17 February 1864 - 5 February 1941) was an Australian bush poet, journalist and author who achieved enduring fame with his ballads of bushmen, pioneers and workers.
Recreated by the National Library of Australia, this "pocket edition for the trenches" commemorates the centenary of World War I and the 150th anniversary of the birth of Banjo Paterson. Originally published in 1914, the books were intended for the troops to carry in their pockets - something to remind them of home. With such favourites as Clancy of the Overflow, A Bush Christening and The Man from Snowy River, this well-produced little tome is a charming way to reacquaint oneself with Banjo.