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Treasures of the Rare Books and Special Collections Library: Modern works


WHITE, Patrick. Thirteen poems
[Sydney : 1930]
13 poems. Click to enlarge.

This book is one of the great rarities of Australian literature and the copy in the University of Sydney Library was thought to be the only one in existence until shortly after the author's death in 1990, when a second copy then came to light. The work comprises, as indicated by the title, some thirteen poems, written when the author was between the ages of fifteen and seventeen, in the period 1927 to1929.

The book was privately published by the author's mother, and he is reputed to have had such a violent antipathy to the work that throughout his lifetime he systematically destroyed every copy which he could obtain. The copy in the University of Sydney Library was obtained via the collection of the Australian bibliophile, Colin Berckelman, and access to the copy was restricted by agreement with Patrick White until after his death.

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