Encounter Bay. The Miniature Naples of Australia. A Short History of the Romantic South Coast of South Australia
[Adelaide, The Author, 1932].
Octavo, xii, 173 pages plus 21 plates and a tipped-in errata slip.
Cloth lightly marked, and slightly rubbed and bumped at the extremities; an excellent copy with a most interesting provenance.
From the collection of Dr Edward Angas Johnson, with his signature in ink (instead of the much more common rubber-stamped facsimile). Edward Angas Johnson (1873-1951) was an Adelaide medical practitioner, prominent in public health circles; his grandmother was a daughter of George Fife Angas. 'His hobby was collecting curios and historical relics, especially those relating to South Australian history. This remarkable collection and his library were distributed to public institutions before his death' (Australian Dictionary of Biography). This copy has ten relevant newspaper or magazine cuttings, and a colour postcard, mounted or tipped in on nine pages (including the endpapers). There are references to Angas Johnson on four pages of the book (noted in pencil); one of these is an acknowledgement in the preface for his 'assistance in the collection of data'. Of greater interest, however, are the two letters from the author accompanying the book. One, dated 4 September 1933 (octavo, one page), answers a query regarding local nomenclature. The other, dated 10 December 1930 (quarto, one page), relates in detail Hodge's disappointment at the recent rejection of the manuscript by the London publishers Kegan Paul. The reasons given were that it was 'too local to make its publication in England a payable proposition ... [and] That financial conditions at present in connection with the Australian trade render it absolutely impossible [both words underlined]'. The silver lining, for Angas Johnson at any rate, was that he received with the letter a lengthy manuscript article (four pages, quarto) relating to Granite Island, 'copied out for the edification of your son. I would however, like him to regard it as private family information for the present, as the book may possibly be published later on'.