A never ending hoax

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  • Published 20080808
  • ISBN: 9780733322839
  • Extent: 296 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

For many years after the Second World War, even into the 1970s, there were rumours circulating in Brisbane about a writer who might have been the real basis of the Ern Malley hoax story. His name – ironically, given the history of poets – was Jack Milton, and unfortunately he died not long before the infamous literary controversy erupted in 1944. A case of Queensland chauvinism? A then cultural province’s desire to claim a role in a southern issue? Interestingly, Milton apparently had work dealings of significance with the American military, very prominent in Brisbane when the city provided Allied headquarters and was a national political centre.

The story went that Milton wrote poems during the war years uncannily like those which the Melbourne hoaxers, McAuley and Stewart later put forward as Malley’s; it was even suggested Milton might have sent some of his earlier work to the cultural unit at Victoria Barracks where they served, and thus inspired them.

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About the author

John Stephenson

After an earlier career as a teacher John has been a free-lance writer, reviewer and occasional magazine contributor. John now lives in the Blue...

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