Historical information

This book is a collection of the essays written by Walter Logie Forbes Murdoch (1874-1970), a distinguished Australian writer and academic. He is probably Australia’s best-known essayist and became a household name to two generations of Australians through his radio broadcasts and syndicated literary columns in several Australian newspapers. He came to Warrnambool in 1901 and operated a private school in the town. In 1904 he became a lecturer in English at the University of Melbourne and went on to be the foundation Professor of English at the University of Western Australia and later its Chancellor. Murdoch University in Western Australia is named after him and he was knighted in 1964. He published over 40 books.


This book is of interest as it was written by Walter Murdoch who was not only an important figure in Australian literature but also has a place in Warrnambool’s history. In 1901 he went into partnership with James Scott, the proprietor of Warrnambool College. They bought out Stanley’s Warrnambool Grammar School and when Scott retired Murdoch became the sole proprietor and headmaster of the college. While in Warrnambool Murdoch wrote the Australian school history book, ‘The Struggle For Freedom’, a book which sold 10,000 copies in its first year. In 1904 Murdoch left Warrnambool.

Physical description

This is a hard cover book of 904 pages. It has a plain buff-coloured cover with gold printing on the spine. It is a fifth edition and contains a preface, 186 essays by Walter Murdoch and an index. The cover and pages are slightly faded and the cover is a little marked.