Review of Dear Robertson: Letters to an Australian Publisher by A.W. Barker
The story of book publishing in Australia remains largely untold though historians are beginning to exhume the evidence which will expose this little understood and much maligned literary trade. The Angus & Robertson papers in the Mitchell Library at present constitute Australia's most significant publishing archive but access problems hinder research, especially in the more recent sections of the collection. One fascinating volume, however, has been carefully culled from the A & R archive: Dear Robertson: Letters to an Australian Publisher. The theme of the letters selected, and of the narrative commentary linking them, is the relationship between George Robertson (1860-1933) and his stable of writers, editors and critics which included Paterson, Lawson and other bestsellers like C.J. Dennis. If Robertson helped to make them household names in Australia, then it was their labour which built A & R into a publishing house which has lasted for a hundred years.
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