Rosemary Dobson. Untold Lives. Canberra: Officina Brindabella, 1992. First edition, limited (140/240), signed by the author and printer/publisher Alec Bolton. Pp.  (blank), 36,  (blank, colophon), frontis wood engraving “Breakaway”, by Mike Hudson, title page ruled and decorated in red, quarter black cloth, spine lettered in gilt, silk screened patterned paper boards. Mylar jacket. Prospectus loosely inserted.
Rosemary Dobson AO (1920 – 2012) was an award winning Australian poet and figure in the publishing industry. The grand-daughter of English essayist Austin Dobson she showed an early talent for poetry and design. She produced the linocut cover and printed and bound a collection of poems when still at school. Her interest in fine printing and book arts spanned a lifetime and was shared by her husband Alec Bolton who founded Brindabella Press when they moved to Canberra in the early 1970s.
According to the loosely inserted prospectus the poems in Untold Lives arise from Dobson’s life and people she knew, and one group of poems in the middle is directly autobiographical. Her poetry generally follows classical verse forms and demonstrates a deep appreciation of European literary and artistic history and traditions filtered through a uniquely Australian sensibility. Among other fine qualities she is loved for her wit and understatement.
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