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Shvoong Home>Arts & Humanities>History>Ion L. Idriess Books Summary

Ion L. Idriess Books

Book Summary   by:TheGoodWord     Original Author: Ion L. Idriess
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Ion L Idriess (aka Jack) born at Waverley, Sydney on 20th Sep 1889 and died 6 June 1979 at Mona Vale, Sydney was one of Australia''s most prolific authors. This guide offers some information about his life, reasons for his popularity and a bibliography of his major published books.
Who was Idriess and what did he write about? Idriess led a life most could only dream about. The quintessential Australian, he inspired many and was instrumental in popularising Australian writing before it was considered viable. Even today his book on gold prospecting is sought after for its invaluable information. Reference to his Guerilla Series is made on US military sites. Idriess led an amazing life probably due to his passionate, enquiring nature and disarming ingenuity. He survived typhoid, mined for gold and opals, was one of the legendary ''blooded'' ANZAC''s having fought and been seriously injured at Gallipoli, was marooned on a deserted island with a mate that went mad and tried to kill him, trained with Snowy Baker, a 1908 Olympic Games silver medallist for boxing, after being told he would never walk again without crutches and went on to fight in a boxing exhibition at Grafton, wrote text books for the Australian Army in WW II, travelled extensively throughout Cape York Peninsula often with Aboriginals beginning his life-long interest in their customs, hunted crocodiles, broke in horses, chronicled the rites and history of some indigenous races, saving their culture from anonymity. Jack was awarded an OBE for his services to publishing and died a few months short of his 90th birthday.
Why Do People Buy His Books? Because he is immensely readable! Actually his first published book in 1927 was a failure (he followed his publishers advice and embellished the truth with a fictional romantic twist). It was later published as a factual book in 1938. With his second book ''Prospecting for Gold'' he rapidly gained popularity. Because his stories transcend time, record history in a romantic, journalistic style, typify the old-fashioned Australian spirit and are the product of a noble and authentic soul (very human with many failings nonetheless) he will always be popular and his books will only increase in value.
What are Idriess Books Worth? First editions in dust jackets always attract higher prices. Signed editions are good however Idriess signed many of his books and it doesn''t always mean it is a first edition. Angus & Robertson published his books from 1931 with many being reprinted, some in the same year as the first edition. Prices fluctuate but scarcer editions are always highly bid upon.

Bibliography of Major Books
1927 Madman''s Island
1931 Prospecting for Gold
1931 Lasseter''s Last Ride
1932 Flynn of the Inland
1932 The Desert Column
1932 Men of the Jungle
1933 Drums of Mer
1933 Gold Dust and Ashes
1934 The Yellow Joss
1935 Man Tracks
1936 The Cattle King
1937 Over the Range Sunshine and Shadows in the Kimberleys
1938 How Must Australia Fight - Also published as ''Must Australia Fight''.
1939 Forty Fathoms Deep
1939 Cyaniding for Gold
1940 Lightning Ridge
1940 Headhunters of the Coral Sea
1940 The Great Trek p;
1941 Fortunes in Minerals
1941 Nemarluk: King of the Wilds
1942 The Guerrilla Series : Series of 6 written for the Australian Army during WWII
Shoot to Kill
Sniping
Guerrilla Tactics
Trapping the Jap
Lurking Death
The Scout
1943 The Great Boomerang
1944 The Silent Service
1945 Horrie the Wog Dog
1946 In Crocodile Land
1947 Isles of Despair
1948 Stone of Destiny
1949 One Wet Season
1950 The Wild White Man of Badu
1951 Across the Nullarbor
1952 Outlaws of the Leopolds
1953 The Red Chief
1954 The Nor''Westers
1955 The Vanished People
1956 The Silver City
1957 Coral Sea Calling
1958 Back O'' Cairns
1959 The Tin Scratchers
1960 The Wild North
1961 Tracks of Destiny
1962 My Mate Dick
1963 Our Living Stone Age
1964 Our Stone Age Mystery
1968 Challenge of the North
Published: December 16, 2007   
Please Rate this Summary : 1 2 3 4 5
  1. Answer   Question  :    Did he write Head hunters of the Coral Sea? ( 2 Answers ) View All
  1. Answer  :    Sorry, misinterpreted the question. Yes he did write "Headhunters of the Coral Sea" Friday, January 11, 2013
  1. Answer  :    yes, "The Drums of Mer" and "The Wild White Man of Badu are two that come to mind Friday, January 11, 2013
  1. Answer   Question  :    I have Volumes I - XII signed by Ion L. Idriess published 1939 by Angus & Robertson (Titles include Lassiters Last Ride, The Yellow Joss and Desert Column.) Are they valuable, if so how much? ( 1 Answer ) View All
  1. Answer  :    Look on EBAY for completed listings of Jack's books. Some have value some do not. Also abebook.com has listings with pricings on his bokks that are available for immediate purchase. Jack was a very astute writer with an eye for detail. Any of his books are well worth the read. The technical ones do tend to be a little dry. Friday, January 11, 2013
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