It is now some thirty years since Poor Fellow My Country was published, twenty since Xavier Herbert died. Both novel and author have fallen into the kind of neglect which not uncommonly overtakes large literary presences in the decades immediately following their disappearance from the cultural landscape. They have now found a champion whose aim it is to restore their reputation, to remedy the unwarranted disregard which is their current lot. Monahan is quite clear on both matters. 'I began writing this book in the belief that Herbert deserved better than he had received in the way of critical acknowledgment ... Poor Fellow My Country is, I believe, one of the great novels of world literature, and the relative neglect it has suffered of recent years will not, I hope, continue for much longer' (9).