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Details about  A BLUEY OF SWAGGIES [Wignell] Collect'n tales poems songs old-time SWAGMEN 1stEd

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A BLUEY OF SWAGGIES [Wignell] Collect'n tales poems songs old-time SWAGMEN 1stEd
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Item condition:
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Used (generally very good condition); uncreased spine; minor cover wear/ creasing; minor bleaching

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21 Aug, 2014 07:36:20 AEST
AU $12.75
AU $4.85 Standard Postage | See details
Item location:
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


eBay item number:
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Last updated on  24 Jul, 2014 00:52:49 AEST  View all revisions

Item specifics

Seller Notes: Used (generally very good condition); uncreased spine; minor cover wear/ creasing; minor bleaching (spine/ cover); some loosening of stitching - refer to detailed description



0 7131 8110 9


Biography - Australia - The Great Depression





Publication Details:

first edition; 1985 printing

Special Attributes:

1st Edition

A Bluey of Swaggies – Edel Wignell

ISBN: 0 7131 8110 9

© Edel Wignell

Published by: Edward Arnold Australia Pty Ltd, Caulfield East Victoria – 1985

Printed by: Brown Prior Anderson Pty Ltd Burwood

Format: glossy pictorial softcover

Pages: 124 numbered pages

Size: 17.3cm x 23.7cm x 1.0cm

Mass: approx 330g

Special Attributes: First published in 1985 – first edition/ presumed first printing; pictorial heavycard softcover; sown binding; comprises high quality (high gloss) papers; contains 10 sections/ chapters plus 'summing up' section; extracts from source documents incorporated in text; black and white illustrations (photographs/ photographic reproductions/ drawings/ sketches) incorporated as part of printed page; glossary; bibliography; red endpapers

Condition: Used (generally very good condition); uncreased spine; minor cover wear/ creasing; minor bleaching (spine/ cover); some loosening of stitching

Text: appears little read – textbody is sound, clean, and free of previous owner annotation, underlining and highlighting

Cover: rubbing wear top and bottom of spine with localised loss/ retraction of printcolour layer at bottom of spine'; general rubbing wear (front and backcover) with associated loss of glossy finish (backcover and, to a lesser extent, frontcover); rubbing wear cover edges (front and backcover); oblique creasing area associated with upper free corner (backcover); turning/ rubbing wear upper and lower free corner apices (front and backcover); several minor holding creasing/ crescent indentations (fingertip impression) noticed backcover; several minor vertical holding creasing lines noticed lower frontcover; minor bleaching/ fading of spine printcolour; minor scoring/ indentations (front and backcover) due to contact with grit or similar

Description: Collection of tales, anecdotes, songs, poems that relate to swagmen and their way of life. According to the backcover, “'A Bluey of Swaggies' celebrates a way of life that has passed into history. The stories, poems, jokes and songs in this delightful collection are drawn from the folklore which grew up around the swagmen who roamed Australia at the turn of the century.

An entry on the website states, in part, “Australian folklore contains hundreds of anecdotes, stories, poems and songs about the men on the track. This collection reprints a few of them, concentrating on the old-time swagmen rather than those of the great Depression

An entry on the website classifies the book as “for ages 10 years-adult

An entry on the website states, in part, “'swag' ....part of the vocabulary of the Australian outback meaning, according to an 1857 definition, 'portable luggage that can be carried on the person'. That meaning has persisted to the present day, although many other different words, e.g. 'matilda', 'shiralee', 'bluey' and 'drum', have been used to denote the bundle of possessions that itinerant work-seekers (and avoiders) carried from place to place.

The swag, a tightly rolled, sausageshaped bundle, usually contained a blue blanket, hence 'bluey' for the swag itself, a waterproof sheet, spare clothes and personal odds and ends. The swag was slung over the shoulder by a piece of leather or rope and from it hung a sugar bag of food and a billy for making tea. Carrying the swag has been variously described as 'humping the bluey', 'humping the drum' and 'waltzing matilda'.”

Derivatives of swag include 'swagman' and 'swaggie', while variations of 'swagman' include 'bagman', from the English term for a commercial traveller; 'tramp', applicable to all itinerants, especially in the Depression years of the 1920s and 1930s; 'sundowner', because of the habit of arriving at a homestead or station at sundown, thus avoiding the risk of having to work for food; and 'whaler', itinerants like the Bulletin's 'Scotty the Wrinkler', who travelled the inland rivers such as the Murrumbidgee, the Murray and the Darling.”

The profession of swag-carrying has produced a large vocabulary of associated colloquialisms, e.g. 'on the wallaby' denoting being on the track, and 'roll the swag' meaning to quit one's job.”

Contains (estimated) 36 black and white illustrations (17 photographs/ 13 photographic reproductions; 6 drawings) plus cover illustrations (black and white photograph – frontcover; stylistic colour sketch – backcover)


illustrated title page

publication details



Acknowledgements (incl. photographs/ illustrations)

table of Contents


Who were the Swagmen?

HUMPING THE DRUM – anon (verse)

The Australian Swagman – 'Chambers' Journal'

Tramping Round- 'Bulletin'

THE SWAGMAN – anon (lyrics)

A Mixed Lot – 'Bulletin'


Two Sydney Rounds – 'Bulletin'

ON THE WALLABY – Henry Lawson (poem)

Rough Sketches of Colonial Life: Bush travellers – 'Hamilton Spectator'

The Superior Swagman – Wilbur G. Howcroft

TJHE DEAD SWAGMAN – Nancy Cato (verse)


A Fair Question – Wilbur G. Howcroft

THE S0NG OF THE SUNDOWNER – anon (verse)

Got any ducks? – James Kirby

Retirement – Wilbur G. Howcroft

The Lazy Aussie – Bill Wannan

City Bloke – Bill Wannan

Waters – George Farwell

The 'Matilda Waltzers' Union – 'Australian Worker'

The Bagmen's Union of Australia – Bill Beatty

'BUDGEE WHALERS – Charles Shaw (poem)

The Swag

The Romance of the Swan – Henry Lawson

Bill's Swag – Henry Lawson

THE SWAGMAN – Ruth Park (poem)

Found: A Swag – 'Narrabri Herald'

Matilda's Grave – Bill Beatty

Travelling Clothes and Comforts – John Le Gay Brereton

A Feed for the Flies – Walter K. Harris

Three, Two and a Quarter

Mitchell: A Character Sketch – Henry Lawson

The Swagman Question – 'Hamilton Spectator'

Travellers – 'Hamilton Spectator'

The Swagman Nuisance – 'Hamilton Spectator'

The Outlaw's Friends – William McGuffin

Jack Dow's Mutton – Bill Wannan

Swagmen at the Feeding Track – Marcus Clarke

THE FEEDING TRACK – anon (verse)

The Last Sundowner – Victor I. Daley

Bush Tucker and Bush Cooking

Mitchell: A Character Sketch – Henry Lawson

THE SHEARER'S SONG – anon (lyrics)

Billy Tea


THE BILLY OF TEA – anon (lyrics)

The Last Match – 'Australian Sketcher'

Old Swaggies' saying – Wilbur G. Howcroft


THE OLD BARK HUT – anon (lyrics)

The Silent Swaggie – Wilbur G. Howcroft

Merry Christmas – Walter K. Harris

ON THE ROAD TO GUNDEGAI – anon (lyrics)

Signing In – Walter K. Harris


Bush Characters

THE WALLABY BRIGADE – anon (lyrics)

Travellers – Alan Marshall

THE RAMBLE-EER – anon (lyrics)

Epitaph to Jonesy – Reginald Ottley

Letting the Red Steer Loose

Swampy Seeks Rations – Henry Lawson

Bush Fires – 'Hamilton Spectator'

A Little Yellow Flame – Mary Grant Bruce

The Best Woolshed on the Warroo – 'Rolf Boldrewood'

Women Swaggies

REDJACK – Mary Durack (poem)

The Story of 'Waltzing Matilda'

WALTZING MATILDA (Carrying a Swag) (lyrics)

WALTZING MATILDA ('Billy Tea' version) (lyrics)

Summing Up



publishers' note (backcover)

Note on domestic postage/Australian destinations only

Australia Post introduced increased charges for domestic letter services, effective 31 March 2014

For a packaged item less than 2cm in thickness, Australia Post would classify this as a large letter and, provided the total mass is less than 500g, a flat rate of $3.50 should apply – for packaging/ post (allowing for packaging viz Tough Bag Tb1 (A5) envelope plus plastic sleeve/ cardboard support) this would come to $4.85 all up (all destinations within Australia).

Alternatively (ie at buyer's request) it could be sent

[1] by express mail – $7.10 (includes packaging) or

[2] by registered mail – this would cost $8.35 (ie an additional $3.50)

I'm happy to combine items, overall dimensions and mass permitting.

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