Marcus Clarke’s Library


The catalogue of Clarke's library, a valuable source of information on Clarke's tastes as a reader and techniques as a writer, has been hitherto largely overlooked. It also reveals the serious side of Clarke's character: the private part of his life which he took pains to conceal behind the 'kaleidoscopic, parti-coloured, harlequinesque, thauumatropic' facade he presented to his contemporaries and which, unfortunately, due to his wife's destruction of his papers before her death in 1914, has survived to bedevil biographers. The nature of his library suggests that he may have meant to use it for future novels, and its loss, on his bankruptcy in 1874, helps to explain why he never wrote them.

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Published 1 October 1976 in Volume 7 No. 4. Subjects: Book collecting & rare books, Libraries, Literary career, Writer's research & sources, Marcus Clarke.

Cite as: Jordens, Ann-Mari. ‘Marcus Clarke’s Library.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 7, no. 4, 1976, doi: 10.20314/als.edb5a2d92a.