Robbery Under Arms was acclaimed as an Australian classic almost immediately after it appeared in book form in the late 1880s. It was praised for its excitement, romance and authentic picture of 1850s colonial life. As the first writer to attempt a long narrative in the voice of an uneducated Australian bushman, Rolf Boldrewood had created a story with enduring cultural resonance. Its continuing appeal and popularity have seen the tale frequently adapted for stage, radio, film and television. During all of this time the novel's text was not stable. It lost some material accidentally in its early typesettings, and these omissions were never repaired. It was later abridged by its author at the publisher's request, but the publisher botched his instructions. And, as with any much-reprinted work, thousands of small changes gradually crept into the text. This Academy Edition is the first full-scale critical edition of the novel. It presents the text as it originally appeared in instalments in the pages of the Sydney Mail in 1882-83. It allows readers to experience the first-person narration that Henry Lawson was inspired by, to appreciate how the special qualities of voice were partially flattened over time and to know exactly what material was omitted. (Publisher's blurb).