The Publicist by Miles, W.J. and, at the end, P.R. Stephensen edit

The Publicist

Miles, W.J. and, at the end, P.R. Stephensen edit

A complete run of The Publicist: 69 issues, published monthly between July 1936 and 1 March 1942. Founded and edited by W.J. Miles, contributions by him as John Benauster, Alcedo Gigas, chief writer P.R. Stephensen, also writing as “The Bunyip Critic” sometimes as Rex Williams, other contributors: George Farwell, Xavier Herbert, Randolph Bedford, Furnley Maurice, C.Hartley Grattan. Sold initially by subscription and over the counter in Sydney, it was available in bookstores in Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane by the end of 1937. The position of The Publicist on contemporary issues heated up through its life and has been summarised as pro-monarchy, pro-fascist, pro-Aboriginal, anti-British, anti-communist, anti-Semitic and, from late 1938, it was the common ground for those keen to create an Australia First Party, #47 June 1940 contains the notorious “The Publicist’s 50 Points of Policy for an Australia First Party after the War” or, according to Barbara Winter, it began as “a culturally nationalist journal [and] changed into a politically Nationalist one.” It also had a hard, satirical edge, #1 carried two advertisements for “Wanted, 500,000 young Australians, must be physically fit, perfect in wind and limb, for use in Europe as soil-fertiliser. Apply stating nitrate content of the body, to No.10 Downing Street, London, England.” And “Wanted, urgent. Large he-men from the Australian back-blocks, nothing under six feet, deep-breathers, chest expansion ten inches, no brains, to act as lethal-gas inhalers in Europe. Good pay prior to death, 6/- per day inflated currency. Apply Baldwin, Bruce and Co., London.” And an undergraduate one as well, #1 prints a letter from Capt. James Cook, R.N. retd., “Why do Australians refer to China and Japan as ’The Far East’? On every map of the world that I have seen, these countries are ‘The Near North’, to Australia” Miles died in January 1942, The Publicist continued until March that year when Stephensen and others were interned.

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Publisher: W.J. Miles 1936-1942
Printed wrappers. #1-30 in 5 bound vols., #31-69 loose. The loose issues are all stapled, some staples are rusted, some issues with worn edges and darkened covers. #1 has a handwritten text inside the front cover. The set overall very good or better.

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