05 March 2011

Gripped by Drought republished

It is not well known that, in addition to the 29 Bony novels, Arthur Upfield wrote six novels without Bony. One is Gripped by Drought, first published by Hutchinson & Co Ltd, UK in 1932. Copies of that edition are extremely rare and inaccessible to the average reader being mainly in university libraries and private collections.

It was republished without licence by Dennis McMillan Publications, USA in 1990. Only 450 copies were published, and they are hard to find and expensive. As I write this an AddAll book search found five copies with prices ranging from US$200 to US$650.

The story takes place in the early 1930s and is about Frank Mayne who owns an 800,000-acre sheep station in western New South Wales. On a visit to England he meets and marries Ethel. They then travel around the world for three years before going home to Australia in the first year of a drought. After two more years of drought and a failed marriage that spawns an orgy of entertainment and other costs, Frank faces ruin.

I republished Gripped by Drought with Lulu.com today. The cost of this new edition is US$42.95.

Copies are available online from my Arthur Upfield Bookshop.