Published: New York, Harper & Brothers, 1936. Pencil on ruled legal paper, mostly on rectos only, 144 pp. (variously numbered 3-80, 47-94; J-S; 1-9). 1 vols. 4to. Zane Grey’s Adventures in Australian Waters. Some toning, generally fine. Boxed.
Prolific author and world-travelling sportsman Zane Grey (1872-1939) arrived in Australia in early 1936, and spent eight months fishing off the coast of Australia, aboard the Tin Hare, soon nicknamed the Tin Horn. Grey was based out of Bemagui near Montague Island, and near Bateman’s Bay, through May, and then moved to Hayman Island off the Great Barrier Reef.
“It seems as the years go by that every camp I pitch in places far from home grows more beautiful and romantic. The setting of my latest one out a Bermagui bears this out in the extreme.”
This is the surviving draft manuscript of Zane Grey’s last angling book, An American Angler in Australia, and corresponds closely to the published text. The manuscript begins at a page numbered 3 with a long paragraph of general remarks similar to the a brief opening passage in the book; the following page describes the arrival at Sydney Harbor (page 2 in the book). Grey’s book is a digressive appreciation of the land and wild life of Australia, interwoven with detailed accounts of fishing for big fish (broadbill swordfish, hammerhead shark, marlin, and more). The page numbering is irregular: pages 3-80 comprise the first six chapters and pages numbered 47-94 of the manuscript contain Chapters VII and VIII. He writes quickly but legibly and it is possible to see how he shaped the text between composition. Two short summary chapters on equipment and prospects for angling in Australia (IX and X in the published book) are not here, but there is a ten-page narrative section on his impressions of Hayman Island and Hook Island, some activities there (not included in the book), and a related nine-page manuscript headed Fights with Fierce Fish, which discusses some of the trophy fishes encountered n this trip (possibly intended for a magazine article).