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Showing posts from January, 2014

Australian fairy tales in a Texas University!

There are 7 copies in libraries around the world and surprisingly one in Austin, at the The University of Texas Library. I was hoping that it had an intriguing history: perhaps a copy held by Ernst's sister Elsa who worked in women's prisons in USA or donated by her brother Hans, an engineer and inventor working in Cincinatti but the story is more practical. According to Margaret Tufts Tenney, Head of the Reading Room, Harry Ransom Center it is likely that it came from the purchase of stock from an old bookstore.  This way of obtaining materials was practiced in conjunction with a book dealer the Center worked with throughout its formative years.  There are booksellers pencil marks on the first flyleaf and a bookseller sticker on the verso of the front board.  This indicates it came James Dally in South Australia, one of the five states where the book was sold between 1904 and 1907. Fairytales from the Land of the Wattle was also sold in NSW, Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland. No…

Australian Christmas Carols

A phone interview with a Junior Red Cross member who was in Ernst's Red Cross Circle led me on another research track. She told me that Ernst's pride in Australia was obvious at Christmas time with the regular singing of Australian Christmas Carols. I was given two clues:  
a) written by a Melbourne man  
b) one carol was about 'Brolgas dancing'. 
I believe the lyrics they sang were those written by ABC staff writer John Wheeler to music by William James.
THE CAROL OF THE BIRDS
1. Out on the plains the brolgas are dancing
Lifting their feet like warhorses prancing
Up to the sun the woodlarks go winging
Faint in the dawn light echoes their singing
Orana! Orana! Orana to Christmas Day.
2. Down where the tree ferns grow by the river
There where the waters sparkle and quiver
Deep in the gullies bell-birds are chiming
Softly and sweetly their lyric notes rhyming
Orana! Orana! Orana to Christmas Day. 3. Friar birds sip the nectar of flowers Currawongs chant in wattle tree bowers
In the blue …

First Draft drafted

A tedious fortnight trying to meet my own imposed deadline of completing my First Draft by our 18th year anniversary. I have done battle with technology to make sure margins are correct size, lines are spaced 1.5 and the fonts are readable and easy for 'tired eyes'. I changed my spacing - that took a whole day. I got seasick twice when I scrolled so fast I became nauseous. Am still perplexed at why everything but the reference list managed to stay within the margins. But, it was 1 am when I was trying to sort out how to fix it and gave up. Note: Will sort before I submit. I have pestered my family to read at an inordinate rate this fortnight: The Librarian and Daughter No 1 have read each chapter as it 'came off the press'  for errant commas and sentences that are sense-less. Daughter No 2 declined and suggested she'd wait to see the 'DVD' of the book.  Holiday now. Off to New York, Washington, Philadelphia and a different kind of blog.