London: Macmillan and Co., 1912. First edition. Complete in 2 volumes, ocatvo, original red publisher’s cloth with gilt decorations of aborigines on front board and spine. Vol I: Pp. Xiv + 254pp, 105 illustrations plus 5 coloured plates. Vol II: Pp. Xvii + 260 (255 – 515), including 259 illustrations, 2 coloured plates, Appendix (music), 2 folding maps; Advertisments (4pp).
Good. Covers showing some wear – head and tail of spine are bumped, joints rubbled, minor insect damage, corners bumped and pushed in on Volume II. Title papges are foxed, scattered foxing elsewhere throughout.
Francis James Gillen (1855 – 1912) met (Sir ) Baldwin Spencer (1860-1929) in 1894 when Spencer was his guest after the Horn expedition had travelled to central Australia. Spencer was a member of the expedition as zoologist and photographer. Absorbed by Gillen’s ethnographic lore, as editor of the Horn expedition volumes Spencer encouraged him to contribute. What began as his offer to assist in publishing Gillen’s ethnological notes matured into an enduring partnership and a landmark in anthropological history. They embarked on three ethnographic field-work projects and in 1901-02, worked among Aboriginal groups for several weeks at a time. They pioneered sound recording on wax cylinders and shot movie film under difficult conditions. Their last joint venture took them briefly to Lake Eyre’s Arabana people in 1903. Their research produced The Northern Tribes of Central Australia (1904), and Across Australia (2 vols, 1912) was a popular version, originally partly serialized in the Age during 1901.
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