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  • Here’s a Villian [Concerning Brisbane Boys Grammar] – George Carson Cooling – First Edition Scarce 1949

    Here’s a Villian [Concerning Brisbane Boys Grammar] – George Carson Cooling – First Edition Scarce 1949

    A rare book published by Watson and Ferguson, Brisbane in 1949. George Cooling was a pupil and later Master at the illustrious Brisbane Boys Grammar. Written with a hint of Wodehouse; he may certainly qualify as a “Villian”… with his frank expose of goings on … with often tongue planted firmly in cheek. The story of the teaching of sex education and the parents attempts with the birds and the bees is very funny … young boy at Church wedding of his elder sister shouts out to his mother … “When is he going to give her his pollen?” .. priceless.

    Octavo, 254 pages, a trifle cocked as with all W & F books, very clean and with a very good dust jacket. The odd cartoon illustration by McClure.

    The art on the dust jacket is really super and makes the book. For those that know the history of Pink Floyd, think of the Cartoon images drawn by the great Gerald Scarfe to accompany “One More Brick in the Wall” … was this the inspiration? Doubt it, but what a coincidence. “Hey Teacher Leave us Kids Alone”.

    Essential Grammar related book … but any Brisbanite will love and cherish it.


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  • The Opium Smugglers – Ion Idriess – First edition 1948

    The Opium Smugglers – Ion Idriess – First edition 1948

    Idriess back in Cook’s Passage and the Lizard Island. A tale written for boys and now grown up boys. Somewhat of a rarity.

    A first edition published by Angus and Robertson, Sydney in 1948. Without the jacket, octavo, 273 pages, original tanned cloth covered boards with shell design to front. End paper maps, ownership signature on front ends. A pretty good copy.

    The Lizard and opium


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  • Cruising the Coral Sea – Alan Lucas

    Cruising the Coral Sea – Alan Lucas

    This is the third edition nicely updated with aerial images and some extra anchorages. A really super book about the tropical coast of Queensland and the Ocean and Islands. The kind of book that is probably difficult to continue to produce spoilt by the accessibility of the internet. But nowhere is so much useful and interesting information presented in an orderly and balanced fashion.

    Published by Horwitz in 1976, large octavo, 336 pages with a multitude of maps, sketches, the aforesaid photographic images etc.

    After a useful introduction we have a description of the reefs , the islands past present and notes on conservation. Then a handy chapter on catching and cooking your own food .. and the number of poisonous creatures encountered. Safety in the waster … not just sharks but the stingers even the small ones that can kill. Then into the detail of the approaches and anchorages and what a good anchorage looks like …

    A special book on Queensland and only dated where it is interesting …


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  • Richard Daintree – A Photographic Memoir [Queensland] – G.C. Bolton

    Richard Daintree – A Photographic Memoir [Queensland] – G.C. Bolton

    Bolton’s book published by Brisbane’s Jacaranda Press in 1965. Small quarto, 89 pages, good reproductions from original photographs. Special aboriginal images and a unique record of pioneering days and the first mining activities.. . some images of explorers Frank and William Hann.

    The brilliant first Geologist of Queensland was also very handy with the early camera. This was the 1860’s and the quality of the images taken belies the equipment available and the condition in which some of the images were taken.

    Best early Queensland photographs


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  • “Battler’s” Tales of Early Rockhampton – Grant Pattison

    “Battler’s” Tales of Early Rockhampton – Grant Pattison

    A very scarce first edition of this book about goings on in and around Rockhampton, Queensland.

    Self published by the author printed by Fraser & Jenkinson, Melbourne in 1939. Octavo, 152 pages, illustrated, bound in original cloth covered boards. This book appears prone to spine fading and deterioration and this one is no exception, the spine has been re-enforced with bindings tape and the board edges are rubbed heavily … maybe insect nibble. Having said that a pretty clean and bright copy internally so still a good copy.

    The author was a well known local identity and journalist in Queensland. The book is et out in 39 chapters dealing with a particular story that no doubt Pattison had covered in the press before.

    Starts with the “Birth of Rockhampton” … Gracemere Pioneers .. Canoona Rush … Rockhampton in the Sixties [1860’s] .. Pioneers of Fitzroy … Mr Booze .. Horse Dealers … Scrub Riders … Crimes Committed … The First Steeplechase … Murder of Fanny Briggs … Murder of Halligan … Horse thieves and Cattle Rustlers .. Mount Morgan [Gold] … etc etc.

    The author notes “ I regret I have to delete a good deal of the history of Mount Morgan and the Rape of William Pattison’s Estate. This has been done on legal advice to save the printer anxiety, and I regret I am not strong enough financially to contest any action the descendants of the wolves who did not bother to wear sheep’s clothing may be inclined to take.”

    Historical Curiosities – Early Rockhampton.


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  • The Cattle King [The Story of Sir Sydney Kidman] – Ion Idriess

    The Cattle King [The Story of Sir Sydney Kidman] – Ion Idriess

    Published in Sydney by Angus and Robertson in 1951.

    Octavo, 277 pages, a very good copy in a very good dust jacket, small chip top edge, super clean inside.

    The Biography of Sir Sidney Kidman who started with five shillings and eventually controlled over 100 cattle stations an area half the size of Queensland.

    Well illustrated from period photographs and end paper maps showing the extent of the Kidman interests at the front and stations, stock routes, coach routes and railways referred to in the text … at the rear.

    Good reading & photographs … a cattle empire much in the financial news of late.


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