Review of Quintus Servinton: A Tale Founded upon Incidents of Real Occurrence by Henry Savery
As the paving stones go down, it becomes necessary to walk more warily. The time is gone when we could read up Henry Savery in Morris Miller, and get away with it. Now we must actually read books like Quintus Servinton, and I, for one, am not sure how I like it. While it was a rarity, if one had read it, it was something to boast about. Now that it is available freely, its one-upmanship value is gone, and we shall have to look at it in another light. How much early Australian literature will stand scrutiny simply as literature? Perhaps the question shouldn't be asked; it is not capable of a plain answer. I do not personally dispute the right of a book like this to be called Australian; if there is haggling, I am prepared to haggle it in. And as to whether it is literature, the position is obscure. It belongs to the category novel—to the specific department, three-volume novel; it was offered as literature, and in its time judged as such.
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