One of the joys for researchers interested in the textual history of any literary work is finding the tools of the author’s creative acts. In 1897, when A. G. Stephens advised Joseph Furphy to have the handwritten manuscript of Such is Life typed, Furphy bought himself a New Franklin typewriter and did the job himself. When Furphy moved to Perth late in life, the typewriter he used to prepare Such is Life for publication came with him. It’s now in the care of Tom Collins House, the headquarters of the Fellowship of Australian Writers (Western Australia). Manufactured in 1896, the New Franklin typewriter provides a unique link to the creative activity of Joseph Furphy. For anyone interested, there is useful information about old typewriters at the Virtual Typewriter Museum. I’ll write more about Furphy and his typewriter when I’ve had a good look at the Such is Life typescript at the Mitchell Library.
I am a Lecturer in English and Writing at James Cook University, Cairns: https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/roger.osborne/
I am co-editor of the Cambridge Edition of Joseph Conrad’s Under Western Eyes (published 10 October 2013), and editor of the Joseph Furphy Digital Archive. My edition of Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo is scheduled for publication in 2020.
I have published widely in the field of book history, and with David Carter, published Australian Books and Authors in the American Marketplace, 1840s–1940s in 2018, the first of two volumes.
This blog presents a record of my plans, successes, failures, and changes in direction.