The Creation of Rachel Henning : Personal Correspondence to Publishing Phenomenon

Abstract

The Letters of Rachel Henning is the best-selling collection of correspondence ever published in Australia. Covering the years 1853 to 1882, the letters were first serialised in the Bulletin in 1951-1952 (edited by David Adams and illustrated by Norman LIndsay), nearly forty years after Rachel Henning’s death. Since then, they have been published in book form in nine separate editions, and remained in print for nearly fifty years. In October 2006, the book was posted online, unillustrated, as a Project Gutenberg Australia title. I propose to discuss the editing of the original letters, and examine the paratexts and the various publishing strategies that allowed the collection to be marketed successfully, over many years, to a diverse readership whose reasons for finding the collection so appealing varied with the passage of time. (Author’s introduction)

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Published 1 October 2012 in Volume 27 No. 3-4. Subjects: Australian literature - Marketing & promotion, Australian literature and writers, Correspondence, Editing, New editions & reprints, Publishing, 19th Century Women Writers.

Cite as: Cosgrove, Bryony. ‘The Creation of Rachel Henning : Personal Correspondence to Publishing Phenomenon.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 27, no. 3/4, 2012. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.cce1f72e2d.