Essay: David Carteron Australian books in America

‘Australia at last seems to have become articulate’

Australian Books and Authors in the American Marketplace, which I co-authored with Dr Roger Osborne, is in many ways the first in its field, the first comprehensive history of American editions of Australian works or, as it became, the first study of the careers of books and authors in the American marketplace. Evidence had been emerging in new editions of colonial texts, in occasional biographies and scattered articles, but when we began the research there was no ready answer to the most basic question — which Australian books had been published in the USA? — let alone when and how and with what effect.

From the outset the project was an exercise in transnational book history, in tracing and modelling transnational flows of books and authors, rights and commodities, genres and judgements; but also, as a consequence, modelling national or local print economies, especially those with colonial or postcolonial histories. It’s one thing to model transnational book history on the way books travel from major cultural centres to the periphery or between major centres; but how do books and authors from the periphery, the literary ‘provinces’ as Pascale Casanova might put it, make their way to the centre or, rather, multiple centres, in our case, from Melbourne and Sydney to New York, Chicago, Boston or Philadelphia. (You can see why I often prefer the term ‘transnodal’ to ‘transnational’.) In the book, we certainly underscore the extraordinary — or rather the ordinary — mobility of books and careers across the Anglosphere in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. But while the idea of ‘books without borders’ is an attractive, indeed motivating one for book history, our study is also all about the effect of borders and books bumping up against them; about the enabling conditions of mobility but also the limits and blockages in the system. Copyright, at the heart of our story, is of course both, enabling and limiting.

If we relocate its capital from Paris to London, Casanova’s model of a world literary system with its dynamics based on the unequal distribution of economic and cultural capital and the power of conferring symbolic value (rendering books literary, saleable or modern) works well for the Australian case, given the nation’s structurally weak position in relation to British publishing. Adding America into the equation both confirms and qualifies the model, de-centering not only national but also imperial frameworks, even those newer versions projecting trans-imperial networks or a ‘mobile imperial commons’. The story to be told is that of the triangulation of the Australian, British and American book trades — a ‘two-sided triangle’ determined by Australia’s relationship with British publishing, on one side, and the dynamics of the transatlantic book trade, on the other. London emerges in this triangulation not as a dead-end but a relay station, giving books the power to travel further and, I’d say, the power to be modern.

From this perspective I’d like to claim our study doesn’t just add a supplementary layer to Australian literary or publishing history, but helps reconfigure some of its foundational assumptions; and that it makes a contribution to American book history too — just the kind of unexpected angle a transnational study ought to reveal. Following Australian books into the American marketplace, for example, highlights how the focus of transatlantic print culture studies tends to close down around the 1920s or shift more narrowly to modernism as the story of American literature takes over. But of course that trade remained essential to both American and British markets throughout the twentieth century. And, less well-known, Australian books were a persistent, occasionally prominent part of the transatlantic book trade across the whole period.

I’m using the term ‘Australian books’ here as shorthand for what are in fact British or American books: that is, British or American editions of Australian works. Their transformation into British and American books is, of course, the central plot.

But let me begin with a quiz. Three questions:

  1. Which Australian author was described in the New York Times in 1935 as ‘America’s best-loved novelist’?
  2. The publication of which Australian trilogy was hailed in late 1930 as ‘the greatest event in modern fiction’?
  3. Who was the first Australian-born novelists to sell over a million copies of a book in the USA—and what was the book?

Answers later…

Scholars have been aware (at least in the background) that New York publishing played a formative role in the careers of perhaps the two most significant Australian novelists of the twentieth century, Christina Stead and Patrick White. But otherwise, if considered at all, an Australian presence in the US market would mostly be seen as a relatively recent phenomenon, beginning with the success of writers such as Peter Carey in the 1970s, or perhaps Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds or Thomas Keneally’s Schindler’s List. (I did notice recently that one Australian title, Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, had made it onto the PBS Great American Reads Top 100.)

This understanding of American success is itself the lingering effect of the nationalist model of evolutionary growth from colonial to national to modern, as if ‘making it’ in New York could only exist in the latest stage. But this is precisely what we don’t find: a local culture (or industry) developing organically until it is mature enough to reach across borders. What we discover, instead, is that Australian literature was international long before it was national — international not merely imperial.

Our project focuses primarily on the novel, by far the single largest category of Australian works published in the USA, and on those published in book form—though we do trace the significance of periodical publication for individual careers. Through the AustLit database we were able to establish, first, that there was a history, a much longer and more diverse history of Australian books and authors in the USA than previously understood — and one of the purposes of the book, of course, is simply to make that history visible. An initial run through produced a list of over 4000 works in all; about a thousand of these appeared before 1950, involving around 250 authors and 200 different US publishers.

There was a history—but what were its patterns, causes and contexts? This was a story that needed to be told both on the macro level of economic, industrial and legal structures and through the micro-stories of individual books and authors. On the largest scale we see a history stretching back to the mid-nineteenth century, with a significant concentration in the final decades, another marked period between the wars, and a significant presence in popular fiction across the century. Unsurprisingly the broad patterns of our history reflect those of US publishing itself. We can see this on the graph.

The peaks in the 1880s and 90s were the result of the boom in fiction publishing on both sides of the Atlantic, and the associated boom in cheap fiction libraries in America (and behind both, of course, the changes in readership, distribution and production that define the ‘print revolution’ of the period). Australian works circulating in the British sphere — as British books — were drawn into the US market through the voracious appetite of the cheap paperback reprinters before the passing of the Chace Act in 1891, and after by the fiction series of mainstream publishers, such as Appleton’s Town and Country Library. These material settings were catalysed, in turn, by the effects of genre — and genre, in a range of guises, emerges as a key vehicle for the mobility of books and authors, an accelerator perhaps, in this case, to cite the Salt Lake Tribune, through the ‘vast web of romance’ that covered Anglo-Saxondom.

On one level, Australian novels entered the US simply as tradeable commodities — as British books rather than Australian, as interchangeable generic products, and to some extent as bearers of the ideology of Anglo-Saxon racial hegemony, although the ideological accounts are often exaggerated. Authors usually had little say in these transactions and little chance to profit from them. At the same time, we’ve noted how reputations could be established — unauthorised reprinting could lead to proper contracts and royalties; books, even from the cheap libraries, were widely reviewed; and authors’ names circulated widely through the book talk that spread nationwide through newspapers and magazines.

From her colonial base, Ada Cambridge, for example, had twelve titles published in America in at least 28 different editions between 1891 and 1912; Rosa Praed 25 titles in more than 40 editions (from England); and Rolf Boldrewood a dozen books from Macmillan New York. Thirty of the first 300 titles in Appleton’s Town and Country Library, the most prestigious at the time, were by Australian authors. And one of the unexpected findings was the degree to which Australian novels were noticed as Australian, or at least as distinctive variations upon the familiar romance conventions.

In 1896, for example, in the San Francisco Call: ‘Novels of Australian life have ceased to be curiosities. The people of that far land have won their way into the field of literature and are so diligently cultivating it that Australian books are no longer rarities.’ Or the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1897: ‘Australia is beginning to claim something like its fair share of attention in the cosmopolitan world of fiction.’ When Tasma’s novel A Fiery Ordeal was reviewed in the New York Times, in 1898, the reviewer concluded that ‘the story has the Australian mise en couleur’, as if readers needed no further explanation. And when a reader contacted the New York Times in August 1899 seeking a list of good novels dealing with Australian life, the paper was able to provide a list of more than eighty.

Appleton highlighted its authors’ Australian credentials, locating Praed, for example, in ‘the field of antipodean romance which she has cultivated with such marked success’.

The term ‘antipodean romance’ is apposite, suggesting how the works travelled courtesy of their generic passport, but at the same time identifying a distinctive Australian node within the vast web of romance. Australian fiction became so familiar reviewers could even joke about it. Boldrewood’s The Sealskin Cloak was described in the New York Sun as ‘a novel of the good old-fashioned sort’ wherein the heroine ‘meets with a family of wealthy Australians who are as kind of heart and as vulgar of speech as all good Australians are expected to be in contemporary fiction, and with that she goes to live in the antipodes.’

Just how widely novels were reviewed was also a revelation for us. Henry Handel Richardson’s author’s press cuttings scrapbook reveals the same review appearing in sixteen different papers, but even many regional newspapers offered original reviews. For the most part, it appears that these novels were reviewed more widely in the US than in Britain or Australia though that would need testing.

But while the books might be recognised as Australian or ‘Anglo-Australian’, they were scarcely received as ‘Australian literature’ (beyond the sense of the quotations offered). And this is true almost right across the period examined — the exceptions will be discussed later. One of the ways the project challenges nationalist histories is the pretty complete absence of that national framing accompanying Australian works as they enter American space. We discover familiar texts in unfamiliar contexts, stripped of the defining logic of their place in the national story; others that have fallen out of that story altogether but appear in the foreground in the US; others again that were taken as very different kinds of books in America than in Australia or Britain.

But this also meant it was difficult to build any cultural prestige or ‘institutional memory’ for Australian books. If the visibility of Australian novels in the American marketplace at this time is remarkable, no less so is the fact they left no trace in American book culture once the web of romance through which they’d travelled began to fray, as the modern genre system took its place, and realism and modernism redefined the fiction field. There was no narrative, no structures, to sustain their presence beyond the ‘books of the season’, to lift them into the realm of literature or enduring popular stories, despite the reputations certain authors achieved.

Thus, instead of a steadily evolving appreciation of Australian literature in America, we find a discontinuous history in which Australia or its literature is suddenly discovered or becomes impossible to ignore (as in the quotation from my title), only for such visibility to disappear completely — until the next time, a decade or more later, when Australia is suddenly discovered again, and always as if the first time.

A discontinuous or distributed history: not a story of domestic authors delivering texts to a domestic publishing industry for its own market, but of authors widely distributed across Australia, England or America itself; of texts that had to travel to become books; and of editors, readers and reviewers who were seldom the primary audience for whom the books were written. The ‘Australian’ in our study is thus a shifting field that books and authors enter or pass through in various capacities, encompassing immigration, expatriation, imperial commuting and many other forms of mobility, for those who stayed at home no less than for those who left to make careers elsewhere. The limit cases are as significant as those well within its borders in representing Australia’s position within an imperial and international trade in commodities, copyrights and careers.

So we include English author E. W. Hornung, creator of the famous Raffles, the gentleman thief or ‘Amateur Cracksman’, but also of Stingaree, the gentleman bushranger, no less famous in his time. Hornung spent only two years in Australia, but drew on this experience for multiple bush romances, novels that travelled to America just as readily as Hornung’s modern crime fiction. Scribners alone published twenty Hornung titles to 1913, including all his Australian romances, so much so the Chicago Daily Tribune described him as ‘one of the most successful delineators of Bush life’.

Hornung’s career — spanning older forms of romance and emerging forms of crime fiction — again underscores the role of genre, and, for this specific history, the way the literary field was reconfigured by the emergence of the modern genre system from the 1890s to the 1920s. While the Australianness of genre fiction was seldom visible, Australian authors were always active in the international genre field for Australian writers and readers were never merely subjects of empire within a constrained colonial space but also agents within an expanding global market for popular fiction. For many writers, this was the meaning of expatriation; less about fleeing the colony than about maximising participation in the international circuits mobilised by genre. The first three decades of the twentieth century have been seen as a barren period in Australia’s literary history, but within the American marketplace we find Australian authors prominent in all the emerging forms of popular fiction — crime, thriller, romance etc.

Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of the Hansom Cab, written and set in Melbourne, is often claimed as the first true detective novel, a key text in the transition from sensation to detection, and the first international bestseller in the genre. Ten separate editions were published in the US between 1888 and 1890 alone, including Street & Smith’s New York German-language paperback, followed by more than fifty new titles, including a uniform series from G.W. Dillingham. Hume’s contemporary, Guy Boothby, helped define another genre, the thriller, by inventing the wonderfully evil Dr Nikola in 1895. At least 25 of Boothby’s thrillers and spy stories had US editions, although it was the Australianness of his final novel, The Race of Life, that was emphasised in publicity and reviews.

Australian authors also had the Egyptian mummy-thriller market wrapped up, with Hume, Boothby, Mary Gaunt and Ambrose Pratt (with The Living Mummy 1910) all having successful novels in this enduring genre published in the US in the 1910s-20s.

By the 1930s, a long list of Australian authors appeared in the detective genre, and although few are now remembered they were prominent at the time, Arthur Rees, for example, celebrated in the New York Times as in ‘the first rank of the writers of detective stories’ and recommended by the paper to President Wilson. Many authors in effect turned themselves into ‘English’ writers as the genre almost demanded, but the most successful of all, Arthur Upfield, made his career through the Australianness of his settings (highlighted in a title such as Murder Down Under) and his detective, the Aboriginal-Australian Napoleon Bonaparte, a graduate of ‘Brisbane University’ no less. Upfield was one of Doubleday’s most successful authors for over two decades, becoming his first publisher of choice and in effect his literary agent by the mid-1940s over 25 novels from the early 1940s. Sometimes the praise was as good as it gets. The Herald Tribune: ‘a powerful thriller with unusual background, fine detection, honest to goodness horror and a climax you won’t forget … Grade A entertainment in the gooseflesh field.’

Modern romance was slower to emerge as a distinct publishing sector in the US than in England. But this had its advantages, for as ‘light fiction’ — the operative term for the period — romance was still reviewed in the mainstream. Here we find the most successful Australian author in terms of number of titles, Maysie Greig, with more than 120 novels published in the US in over 200 different editions — 60 from Doubleday alone in the decade from 1933.

But it was Alice Grant Rosman who was described as ‘America’s best loved novelist’ (the answer to Quiz Q1!). Although that was a publisher’s pitch, there’s evidence to back it up. With fourteen novels from 1928, Rosman had successive best-selling titles over more than a decade, typically with more than double the sales for her English editions, an excellent example of what the American market could mean to an Anglo-Australian author over and above the British sphere.

Australians were also successful in a range of niche genres, not least the modern girl novel and its adult companion the ‘modern sex novel’. Macaulay published seven of Jean Devanny’s ‘frank and fearless stories of women in love’, while Dale Collins, largely unknown in Australia today, received high critical praise for a span of eleven novels from major houses, Knopf, Little Brown and Bobbs-Merrill, in a genre the Bookman described as ‘sea adventure, sex adventure and shrewd psychology’. Norman Lindsay built a name in New York as the author of modern sex comedies: five novels in seven years in the mid-30s, ‘shockingly alive and scandalously amusing’, as one reviewer put it, although some reviewers complained they were not Australian enough (as if the two things couldn’t go together).

But crucially, it was never just the bestsellers or literary A-list that made it into the American marketplace, but also many minor or mid-list authors, certainly many I’d never heard of, represented by the kind of ‘ordinary’ books that are noticed for a day or a season then disappear from view: Doris Egerton Jones, from Adelaide, for example, with three novels published in Philadelphia between 1915 and 1919. The first, Time O’Day, provided one-line fillers on the topic of Love for newspapers from Tombstone Arizona to Tallulah, LA. If transnationalism matters, if matters in this tangled undergrowth as much as for the few tall trees. One claim to significance for our project, I think, is that it reveals less the exceptional nature of Australian books in the US market than the extent of their ‘ordinariness’, their entry into the routine processes of the book trade.

Let me return to the graph, and the sudden increase in titles from the late 1920s through to the 1940s. Part is the growth in popular fiction just indicated, but another cluster of genres is of central significance here: the historical or regional novel or inter-generational family saga.

The fall in numbers after 1900 was partly the effect of the Chace Act which made it less likely for American publishers to invest in new books from unknown authors (because of the Act’s requirement that books be set and bound in the US). Numbers start building again after the second wave of ad interim clauses were introduced in 1919, giving American publishers extended periods for registering a foreign book for copyright and again for publishing. Publishers could forgo copyright protection altogether, publishing from English sheets or plates, and many did so, often happily for Australian authors where the risk of unauthorised editions was very low. But a surprisingly large number of titles were released in new settings and copyrighted; or at least copyright was asserted, often as a kind of bluff.

Over almost two decades from 1927 a series of historical novels or ‘pioneering epics’ appeared in America, framed by two works selected by the Book-of-the-Month Club: Henry Handel Richardson’s Ultima Thule in 1929 and Eleanor Dark’s The Timeless Land in 1941. Both were historical sagas and parts of large-scale trilogies. Between these two, more than thirty Australian  historical or regional novels were published, noticed by critics and book clubs, and brought together as Australian literature (really for the first time). The sense of discovery is that indicated in the quotation from my title — and similar quotes on the slide. For the authors involved, US publication almost always meant the best sales and earnings of their careers.

The generic frame meant these books were received as they were written, not just as stories set in Australia but as stories of the making of Australia—and hence as contributions to a national literature. Their reception was prepared by the heightened presence in America itself of historical or regional sagas, as Gordon Hutner has shown, not least Gone With the Wind in 1936, but also by the high critical standing in America of works such as Galsworthy’s Forsyte Saga or Sigrid Undset’s Kristen Lavransdatter (both Nobel Prize winners and Book-of-the-Month favourites). To see the Australian novels in this context again unsettles the national story. Australian critic Harry Heseltine was among the first to acknowledge their significance to Australian literature, but writing in the 1960s from a position that judged the national literature in terms of its evolution towards modernity, he saw the dominant forms of the historical novel as a ‘sign of a backward provincialism in Australian writing’. From a transnational perspective, by contrast, we can see their contemporaneity with American book culture, their middlebrow modernity, understood in contrast to other kinds of modern novels: ‘There is nothing of sex in this unusual novel, nothing of the calamities of modern marriage, nothing to mark it as novel of the jazz age.’

These were words of praise for the book that almost single-handedly renewed American interest in Australian literature: Richardson’s Ultima Thule published by W.W. Norton in 1929, possibly its first fiction title. It was an odd choice — the third volume in a trilogy with the first two volumes out of print, an unknown author, and a bleak tale of a man’s decline into madness set in remote Australia. But Norton turned the novel’s challenging nature and Richardson’s obscurity into major selling points. Ultima Thule was reviewed as a major contribution to English fiction, and the outstanding book of the year. It sold over 100,000 copies.

Initially the novel’s Australian setting was hardly noticed, but when Norton published the full trilogy in 1931, Australianness became an essential element of the reception discourse for what Norton claimed as the ‘Greatest Event in Modern Fiction’. (The answer to Quiz Q2!) Critics agreed.

[The answer to Quiz Q3 is Pamela L. Travers, with Mary Poppins, in 1934.]

As new novels continued to appear across the 1930s there was a cumulative effect. Norton expressed a desire to create an ‘Australian list’, certainly the first time an American publisher used the term, and some of the key American bookmen and women of the period reviewed successive Australian novels ‒ Dorothy Canfield, Carl Van Doren, Clifton Fadiman, Henry Seidel Canby, Louis Kronenberger, William Soskin, Henry Hazlitt, C. Hartley Grattan, Lilian Rogers, Mary Ross, Ralph Thompson and Jane Spence Southron ‒ some familiar names, many now forgotten like the bulk of the books they reviewed, but major figures in the busy book world of the interwar years. Briefly they represented something of an informed constituency for Australian fiction.

Many drew parallels between the settler histories of Australia and America, and while this might be little more than an easy point of entry for American readers, there could be something much more, a shock of recognition, a sudden discovery that Australia was unexpectedly, even disconcertingly familiar rather than exotic or banal, that it was suddenly contemporary and spoke to American readers almost from the inside. As one review put it, ‘Australia is Very American’.

But again what’s remarkable is not just the impact of these but the fact that once again they were forgotten at a stroke once the saga lost its cultural prestige and the modern tradition was manoeuvred into place by a new guard of New York literary intellectuals. Even Richardson, despite the mass of reviews that adjudged her a major figure in contemporary English letters. Like Galsworthy and Arnold Bennet, she would fall just the wrong side of modernism; but it is difficult not to include that her ‘Australianness’ made it even harder to locate her within the modern tradition.

The history of the book in Australia has been written largely in terms of its domination by the British book trade — a defining fact confirmed by the present study even as we shift the framing story. The vast majority of Australian works that made their way to the US did so via London, pushed into the American trade by British publishers and agents or pulled into it by their American equivalents alert to the British marketplace. There were exceptions—books sent directly to US publishers or agents (such as Dorothy Cottrell, forwarding her novel The Singing Gold to Houghton Mifflin from a cattle station in outback Queensland); authors arriving in New York with novels in their suitcases (as did Patrick White); and, for a brief period between the wars, Australian publishers negotiating directly with American houses. But these cases are rare across the period examined. British domination was underwritten by copyright and the informal division of the publishing world into British and American spheres. With British publishers insisting on rights for all their ‘colonies and dependencies’, Australian authors were more or less compelled to seek British publication if their novels were to appear in book form. To sell rights to an Australian house first was to dramatically reduce one’s chance of British publication; and that meant, in turn, reducing the chances of an American edition.

But despite the restrictions they faced, and of course precisely because of them, many Australian authors were highly attuned to the possibilities of American publication and hence to changing international rights regimes and the key role agents could play, critical for those working from a distance. The archives again and again reveal Australian authors, from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, badgering their British publishers and agents about American rights, changing agents and publishers in pursuit of those rights, or writing directly for the American market. Although modest success in America matched modest success in Britain, the chances of larger direct and subsidiary sales were of course much greater in America.

Ada Cambridge signed with A.P. Watt in October 1892, and US rights were henceforth excluded from her British contracts, enabling Watt to negotiate separate deals with Appleton—ten novels in the Town & Country Library, all fully contracted and copyrighted. Rolf Boldrewood wrote to Frederick Macmillan immediately after the passing of the Chace Act, stating cunningly that he assumed the firm would ‘make all necessary arrangements for our mutual benefit’ in the United States. Boldrewood signed with Watt in 1894, upsetting Macmillan in the process, and his contracts from that point obliged Macmillan to issue an American edition — ten new books in all from Macmillan New York. For expatriate Rosa Praed, the clause granting American rights to Unwin, her British publisher, was deleted manually from the contract for her novel Nyria, which she later copyrighted in her own name in the US. That might have had the opposite effect to that she desired, for the book never found an American home despite its notoriety as a case of spiritual communication.

And Ethel Turner, author of the iconic Australian children’s book Seven Little Australians, spent more than two decades trying to turn her local success into American success: as she put, ‘to get out of the Ward & Lock rut & into the American field’. Her title, I’d argue, reveals her awareness of the modern children’s market in America, referring not just to the incipient Australian nation but to the two famous American bestsellers of recent decades, Little Women and Little Lord Fauntleroy. Turner did achieve a uniform edition of six novels in David McKay’s Girls’ Own Library, but it’s unlikely she profited much from the deal.

By the mid-twentieth century, for certain writers — including Lindsay, Stead, White, Morris West or Jon Cleary — an American reputation could be traded in the opposite direction, back into the British marketplace and then to Australia, with American publishers and agents their primary publishing home. There was also investment from the American side in the 1940s — a publishers’ delegation, a sponsored visit by Henry Seidel Canby, and a short-lived Sydney literary agency established with American backing for sending material direct to American publishers  — but nothing could be sustained.


Foregrounding the American marketplace heightens our sense of the transnational mobility of Australian books and authors, beyond imperial no less than national borders. They’re discovered less as isolated colonials than as participants in the key mainstream, modernising and popular developments in the Anglophone book world, often with a surprising degree of visibility in the US in terms of critical or commercial success. If Liane Moriaty’s Big Little Lies in 2014 was the first Australian book to reach no. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller List in its first week of publication (and I’m not sure I believe the claim in my Australian edition), it was by no means the first to appear there. A small number of novels were taken—for a season—as major contributions to English fiction or as signalling the arrival of Australian literature. Australian writers were never wholly constrained within local, national or imperial structures.

But to recall Casanova, this history also reminds us of the consequences of Australia’s position in the world republic of letters, its relative deficit in terms of literary capital, the obstacles at almost every stage as books crossed borders. The Australianness of Australian books was seldom a selling point; given which, the density of business transacted and recognition achieved at key moments is significant. But these moments have been invisible to both Australian and American histories.

So White and Stead suffered fates similar to Richardson’s. Despite early and major critical appreciation, both circulated in American book culture as among the great unread or the unread greats. When White received the Nobel Prize in 1973, the New Republic’s review of his latest book, which was in fact his eleventh from the Viking Press, bore the title ‘Patrick Who? From Where?’ — though the point was that American readers ought to know.

Despite the support of key figures in the New York book world, individual success could seldom be translated into symbolic capital for Australian literature beyond the cycle of books of the week or month. There were no institutional structures in place to allow Australian books to accumulate meaning over time, no compelling cultural or commercial reasons to keep them before American readers.

But perhaps that’s the best argument of all for recovering the diverse history of Australian books and authors in America—and continuing it through to the present (even as place of publication becomes an increasingly elusive category).

This is an edited version of a keynote address given at the 2018 SHARP Conference at Western Sydney University.