A Torrent of Words: Leon Gellert: A Writer's Life

Xoum Publishing
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Leon Maxwell Gellert was born in 1892 in Walkerville, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. After an education at Adelaide High School, he embarked on a teaching career; first at Unley High School then later at the University of Adelaide’s Teacher Training College.

Gellert enlisted with the AIF’s 10th Battalion within weeks of the outbreak of the World War I and sailed for Cairo in October 1914. He landed at Ari Burnu Beach, Gallipoli, in April 1915, but was wounded and repatriated as medically unfit just over a year later. He attempted to re-enlist but was soon found out. Back home in Adelaide, he returned to teaching.

During the War Gellert had begun to write poetry and his first collection, Songs of a Campaign, was published in 1917 and favourably reviewed by the Bulletin. Angus & Robertson were suitably impressed and soon released a new edition, illustrated by Norman Lindsay.

Gellert moved to Sydney where he taught English at Cleveland Street Intermediate High School until 1922. He then took to journalism and joined the staff at tabloid newspaper Smith’s Weekly. There he was introduced to the circle that included Sydney Ure Smith and Bertram Stevens. Gellert was appointed editor of Ure Smith’s Home magazine and co-editor of the quarterly Art in Australia which he took over following Stevens’ death in 1922.

Gellert continued editing Home until 1942 when it ceased publication. He then became literary editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, writing the ‘Something Personal’ column in the Saturday issue as well as humorous columns for the Sunday Herald and the Sunday Telegraph. He returned to Adelaide after the death of his wife Kathleen in 1969, living in the suburb of Hazelwood Park. Leon Gellert died in 1977.

Gavin Souter’s biography of Leon Gellert, A Torrent of Words, was first published in 1996 and is released here digitally for the very first time.

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About the author

Gavin Souter AO was born in 1929 in Sydney. He was educated at Kempsey High School and Scots College in Warwick, Queensland, before graduating BA from the University of Sydney. He joined The Sydney Morning Herald as a journalist in 1947 and worked there for 40 years, serving as a correspondent in New York and London and later as an Assistant Editor of the newspaper.

He is the author of eleven works of non-fiction, including A Peculiar People, The Australians in Paraguay (1968), which won the Foundation of Australian Literary Studies award; Lion & Kangaroo, The Initiation of Australia 1901–1919 (1976); Company of Heralds (1981), which also won the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies award; and Heralds and Angels, the House of Fairfax 1841–1990 (1992), which won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award.

Gavin was Vice President of the Australian Society of Authors between 1975 and 1978 and Deputy Chairman of the Commonwealth Films Board of Review between 1981 and 1984.

In 1960, he won the W.G. Walkley Award for Australian Journalism; in 1988 he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), and raised to Officer level (AO) in 1995; and in 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal.

Gavin lives with his wife in Sydney.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Xoum Publishing
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Published on
Dec 31, 2012
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Pages
64
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ISBN
9781922057037
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Lion & Kangaroo is one of Australia’s great works of history, a rich chronicle of the nation’s coming-of-age.

With intelligence, wisdom and wit, acclaimed historian Gavin Souter captures all the milestones of Australia’s first decades, from the constitutional conventions of the nineteenth century to the turbulent years that followed World War I. Painting unforgettable portraits of scores of the most fascinating participants, he traces a national character in evolution.

First published in 1976 and rereleased digitally by Xoum for the first time, Lion & Kangaroo is both profound and insightful. It is impossible to comprehend contemporary Australia without first reading it.

Reviews of Lion & Kangaroo

‘Souter is a writer of great distinction … This book is the work of a man who can impose on the chaos of the past an order that lifts the work into the realms of art without doing violence to the events or sacrificing the standards of scholarship as defined by the academics. It is a great achievement.’ Manning Clark

‘A superb evocation of Australian life in the years between federation and the First World War, showing how imperial sentiment dominated our lives and left a vacuum in Australia’s national identity … Souter’s book is beautifully written, lucid, witty and compelling.’ Gough Whitlam

‘Souter has written a masterpiece … The book, assiduously researched for its making, is materially explosive … Souter lets the material do its own erupting, then shapes it to his magnificent control. A mighty work of history.’ The Courier-Mail

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

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Growing up in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles, Tiffany learned to survive by making people laugh. If she could do that, then her classmates would let her copy their homework, the other foster kids she lived with wouldn’t beat her up, and she might even get a boyfriend. Or at least she could make enough money—as the paid school mascot and in-demand Bar Mitzvah hype woman—to get her hair and nails done, so then she might get a boyfriend.

None of that worked (and she’s still single), but it allowed Tiffany to imagine a place for herself where she could do something she loved for a living: comedy.

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By turns hilarious, filthy, and brutally honest, The Last Black Unicorn shows the world who Tiffany Haddish really is—humble, grateful, down-to-earth, and funny as hell. And now, she’s ready to inspire others through the power of laughter.
In 1893 almost 500 Australians set out by ship to plant a communist utopia in the heart of Paraguay. Led by socialist journalist and activist, William Lane, their aim was to realise the cherished Australian principles of equality and mateship.

It was not to be. Expulsions and secessions began early; in mid-1894 Lane himself seceded with a loyal minority and founded Cosme, some forty-five miles south of the original settlement, but two years later the new colony had deteriorated and dwindled.

Acclaimed historian Gavin Souter unravels the history of the New Australia movement, exploring the motivations and motives of its members, its organisation, the conflicts and dissension and the final disillusionment. He suggests a number of factors contributing to the venture’s failure, not the least being William Lane’s contradictory personality.

Meticulously researched and based on countless interviews with descendants of the original settlers, A Peculiar People is a work of literary as well as historical value. Winner of the Foundation of Australian Literary Studies award, it brings the fascinating story of idealism, courage and human fallibility to vivid life.

Reviews of A Peculiar People

‘The most complete, objective and altogether satisfying account – by turns ironic, sardonic, compassionate, frequently evocative and finally haunting.’ Australian Book Review

‘An excellent book, lively in its narrative and judicious in its interpretations.’ The Age

‘Souter … writes with admirable clarity and can make a story, period and cast of people come alive – exciting, absurd and gallant by turns.’ The Bulletin
Lion & Kangaroo is one of Australia’s great works of history, a rich chronicle of the nation’s coming-of-age.

With intelligence, wisdom and wit, acclaimed historian Gavin Souter captures all the milestones of Australia’s first decades, from the constitutional conventions of the nineteenth century to the turbulent years that followed World War I. Painting unforgettable portraits of scores of the most fascinating participants, he traces a national character in evolution.

First published in 1976 and rereleased digitally by Xoum for the first time, Lion & Kangaroo is both profound and insightful. It is impossible to comprehend contemporary Australia without first reading it.

Reviews of Lion & Kangaroo

‘Souter is a writer of great distinction … This book is the work of a man who can impose on the chaos of the past an order that lifts the work into the realms of art without doing violence to the events or sacrificing the standards of scholarship as defined by the academics. It is a great achievement.’ Manning Clark

‘A superb evocation of Australian life in the years between federation and the First World War, showing how imperial sentiment dominated our lives and left a vacuum in Australia’s national identity … Souter’s book is beautifully written, lucid, witty and compelling.’ Gough Whitlam

‘Souter has written a masterpiece … The book, assiduously researched for its making, is materially explosive … Souter lets the material do its own erupting, then shapes it to his magnificent control. A mighty work of history.’ The Courier-Mail

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