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A Journalist’s Memories


Spencer Browne

Inscribed by the author to J.G. Appel.

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Brisbane: The Read Press, Ltd., 1927. First edition. Inscribed by the author. Octavo, red publisher’s cloth with gilt titles on front board and spine, pp. xiv + 351 + Index [xiv], 15 photographs.

Almost Fine. Spine lightly sunned, head and tail of spine bumped, small (2mm) chip on front joint, corners sharp, clean throughout, inscribed by Spencer Browne to “a great old friend of the author” J. G. Appel.

Reginald Spencer Browne (1846-1943) was born and edcuated in New South Wales but moved to Brisbane in 1881 as the editor of the Observer. He joined the Brisbane Courier in 1882 and remained there his entire working life, advancing slowly through the literary hierarchy while he devoted much time to soldiering. In 1915 he joined the A.I.F. and  took over the 6th Infantry Brigade at Gallipoli, at the age of 59. He was formally retired in 1921 as an honorary Major General, and served for two years as president of the Returned Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Imperial League of Australia.

The reminicences collected in A Journalist’s Memories first appeared in the Courier between 1925 and 1927, and contributed to both the “history and legend” of Queensland. In his later years Browne was a well-known Brisbane identity, nominal financial editor for the Courier, and shared wide cultural interests with his second wife Catherine Fraser, a musician and amateur actress. In the end he is remembered as tolerant and broadminded and ‘in every sense a gentleman’. (Australian National Dictionary of Biography online).

John George Appel was another Brisbane identity, solicitor and politician. He died in 1929 after drinking tainted water and Browne remembered of him that he had ‘the soul of an artist, the heart of a child, and the strength of a Greek wrestler’.