Review of Catherine Helen Spence ed. Helen Thomson; and Point of Departure. The Autobiography of Jean Devanny ed. Carole Ferrier
In the section on literature in the recently issued Report of the Committee to Review Australian Studies in Tertiary Education, Windows onto Worlds, it is noted that despite great improvement in the publishing of both new and classic Australian writing in the last decade, much remains to be done. The need for critical scholarly editions is pressing while the situation with 'fugitive' or ephemeral writing is deemed even more serious, since most products of this form of literary endeavour are hidden away in library stacks. The Committee's emphasis falls on the long-standing 'two-way problem' between the availability of texts and their prescription in literature courses. Its contention that cooperation between literature departments and publishers is possible is evidenced by the efforts of the University ofQueensland Press, which are by now indeed impressive. Catherine Helen Spence is the fifteenth title to appear in the UQP Australian Authors series (formerly the Portable Australian Authors series), with three more in preparation and still others to come. Point of Departure Jean Devanny's autobiography, hitherto an unpublished typescript preserved in the James Cook University library, extends work done by UQP in publishing selections from the writings of Marcus Clarke and A. G. Stephens. It may confidently be predicted that these two new titles will soon appear on diverse reading lists, catering especially to unsatisfied demand for the work of Australian women writers.
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Cite as: Roe, Jill. ‘Review of Catherine Helen Spence ed. Helen Thomson; and Point of Departure. The Autobiography of Jean Devanny ed. Carole Ferrier.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 13, no. 2, 1987, doi: 10.20314/als.ca7bb51b89.