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Rare and Important Books

A list of rare ands important books which have been converted to ebooks. As producers of ebooks, we at Project Gutenberg Australia are quick to acknowledge that whilst ebooks can reproduce the text and images of paper books they cannot provide the look, feel, smell and general aura of paper books. Nevertheless, a browse of some of the ebooks listed below will, we hope, provide the reader with some idea of the paper books from which the ebooks were produced. We hope to add to the list over time.

Darwin, C. R. 1859. On the origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. London: John Murray. [1st edition]

This, the first edition of Darwin's most famous work, was published 24 November 1859.

This ebook is provided by The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online, an amazing source of Darwin information.

Dennis, C. J. 1921. A Book for Kids. Australia: Angus and Robertson Ltd. [1st Edition]

The page images from this book are provided by the National Library of Austrtalia. From the link in the previous paragraph you can also go to the library's "digital Collections" (top left of page) which contain page images of many rare and important books.

In his time C J Dennis was one of Australia's most popular poets, though his work is less well known today. We have most of Dennis's books, available from Dennis's listing on our site.

At the end of this page is one of my favourite Dennis poems. Surely I am allowed a little self indulgence.

Flinders, Matthew. 1801. Observations on the Coasts of Van Diemen's Land on Bass's Strait and its Islands and on Part of the Coasts of New South Wales; Intended to Accompany the Charts of the Late Discoveries in those Countries. London: John Nichols. [Facsimile of 1st Edition] (No charts were present in the original publication.)

This unpretentious book of about 40 pages is available in other formats, from Flinders' listing on our site.

Also available is A Voyage to Terra Australis. This work, published in 1814, includes an account of Flinders' circumnavigation of Australia in 1801, 1802 and 1803, "undertaken for the purpose of completing the discovery of that vast country."

Heeres, J. E. 1899. The Part Borne by the Dutch in the Discovery of Australia 1606-1765. London: Luzac & Co. [1st Edition]

The first authenticated landing on Australian soil, from the outside world, occurred in 1606 when Willem Janszoon, on board the Duyfken, charted about 300 km of the west coast of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. In 2006 Australians celebrated the 400th anniversary of the event.

This ebook is available in other formats, including page images in the Dutch language, from Heeres' listing on our site. You might also like to check out our Australian Discovery page

Lawson, Henry. 1894. Short Stories in Prose and Verse. Sydney: L. Lawson. [1st Edition]

This pamphlet, as Lawson termed it, was published by his mother, Louisa Lawson. It was his first published book, although the individual pieces had all appeared previously in other publications. The Preface to the book provides the story.

Lawson is sometimes given the title of "Australia's Greatest Writer."

This ebook is available in other formats, together with most of Lawson's other works, at Lawson's listing on our site.

Hist! by C J Dennis. From A Book for Kids.

Hist! . . . . . . Hark!
The night is very dark,
And we've to go a mile or so
Across the Possum Park.

Step . . . . . . light,
Keeping to the right;
If we delay, and lose our way,
We'll be out half the night.
The clouds are low and gloomy. Oh!
It's just begun to mist!
We haven't any overcoats
And--Hist! . . . . . . Hist!

(Mo . . . . . . poke!)
Who was that that spoke?
This is not a fitting spot
To make a silly joke.

Dear . . . . . . me!
A mopoke in a tree!
It jarred me so, I didn't know
Whatever it could be.
But come along; creep along;
Soon we shall be missed.
They'll get a scare and wonder where
We--Hush! . . . . . . Hist!

Ssh! . . . . . . Soft!
I've told you oft and oft
We should not stray so far away
Without a moon aloft.

Oo! . . . . . . Scat!
Goodness! What was that?
Upon my word, it's quite absurd,
It's only just a cat.
But come along; haste along;
Soon we'll have to rush,
Or we'll be late and find the gate
Is--Hist! . . . . . . Hush!

(Kok!. . . . . . Korrock!)
Oh! I've had a shock!
I hope and trust it's only just
A frog behind a rock.

Shoo! . . . . . . Shoo!
We've had enough of you;
Scaring folk just for a joke
Is not the thing to do.
But come along, slip along--
Isn't it a lark
Just to roam so far from home
On--Hist! . . . . . . Hark!

Look! . . . . . . See!
Shining through the tree,
The window-light is glowing bright
To welcome you and me.

Shout! . . . . . . Shout!
There's someone round about,
And through the door I see some more
And supper all laid out.
Now, run! Run! Run!
Oh, we've had such splendid fun--
Through the park in the dark,
As brave as anyone.

Laughed, we did, and chaffed, we did,
And whistled all the way,
And we're home again! Home again!
Hip . . . . . . Hooray!


Last Updated 25 October 2009