MS 78 comprises manuscripts collected by Robert Henderson Croll. They include a typescript of the Songs of a sentimental bloke, typescript of The Glugs of Gosh, an unrevised proof of The battle of the Wazzir, and a proof of Doreen and the sentimental bloke. There is also a typescript copy of Limpy Ben, an unrevised proof of Digger Smith and the second revised proof of Jim of the hills. Two letters from C.J. Dennis to Croll concerning the “Bloke”, dated 3 February 1914 and 14 February 1916 are included. The collection also comprises a small number of photographs of Dennis and associates, and of his house at Toolangi, and several newspaper cuttings (1 box).
Poet and journalist. Clarence Michael James Dennis was born on 7 September 1876 in Auburn, South Australia 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 The 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.
Dennis' 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, he joined the literary staff of the Melbourne Herald, writing a daily column of verse and prose. Dennis died in Melbourne on 22 June 1938.
Manuscript reference no.: MS 78.
Guide to collections of manuscripts relating to Australia, A971.
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