Towards a Reassessment of the MSS of Shaw Neilson


In 1965 Angus and Robertson published The Poems of Shaw Neilson, introduced and edited by Professor A. R. Chisholm. The edition contains 172 poems, and a few rejected stanzas quoted in the introduction. In an appendix Professor Chisholm writes:

The present edition is not definitive in the strict sense; a truly definitive edition would in fact be impossible, as so many of the poet's manuscripts were destroyed. But though several early pieces and all juvenilia have been omitted, it is hoped that this can reasonably be called a collected edition, enabling the reader to see Neilson's sensitive mind, and see it whole. It comprises mainly the poems in preceding editions from Ballad andLyrical Poems onwards.

Through a series of fortunate contacts, 1 have been able to amass from libraries and private collections approximately 355 poems, as well as 54 uncompleted poems or fragments, 86 limericks and 66 comic quatrains, none of which has been published in book form, and the majority of which have never been published at all.

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Published 1 October 1968 in Volume 3 No. 4. Subjects: Australian literature - Manuscripts, Poetry writing, Textual criticism & editing, John Shaw Neilson.

Cite as: Harrison, Ruth. ‘Towards a Reassessment of the MSS of Shaw Neilson.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 3, no. 4, 1968, doi: 10.20314/als.db4a92e9aa.