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MURPHY, G. [GEORGE] READ. - Beyond the Ice. Being a story of the newly discovered region round the north pole. Edited from Dr. Frank Farleigh's diary.

London, Sampson Low & Melbourne, Hutchinson [1894]. Octavo publisher's illustrated blue cloth (two small blobs of wax on the front cover, marks on the back). Somewhat canted, not a bad copy of a book guaranteed to respond badly to handling. A signed presentation, dated March 1894, from Murphy to Geelong lawyer Aurel Just, "gentleman, Dremanist and possessor of other titles," with a quote from his character Vernon Dreman. ¶ Only edition of this polar utopia and dystopia which Murphy - I suspect simple perversity - took to the opposite end of the world in defiance of the usual Australian practice of heading south. Heaps of scientific advances and flying machines as expected but reform and enlightened progress can only go so far: adult women are enfranchised until they marry, then the possible conflict between husband and wife is not worth the candle. "The chief characters seem to spend a deal of unnecessary time in consuming oysters and brown bread" warned the North Melbourne Courier and West Melbourne Advertiser in an otherwise warm review while suggesting it would be commercially more canny to set the book in central Australia.
AUD 950.00 [Appr.: EURO 610.25 US$ 719.28 | £UK 544.5 | JP¥ 80594] Book number 9768

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