Item F1482 - Letter to John Beston, 1972

Identity area

Reference code



Letter to John Beston, 1972


  • 1972 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3 1.; 26 cm.

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Xavier Herbert was born in Geraldton, Western Australia, and grew up there and in Fremantle. He trained as a pharmacist and worked and lived in Melbourne, Sydney, Darwin and then England where he married and wrote his first novel 'Capricornia' which was finally published by P R Stephensen in 1938. Herbert returned to Australia in 1932 and in 1946 he settled with his wife Sadie at Redlynch, near Cairns, Queensland. Herbert's other works include the autobiographical 'Disturbing Element' (1963), the novel 'Soldiers' Women' (1961), the novella 'Seven Emus' (1959) and the short story collection 'Larger than Life' (1963), as well as short stories and many articles expressing his strongly held opinions on various aspects of Australian life. His last work 'Poor Fellow My Country' was published in 1975 and won the Miles Franklin Award that year. Since his death two collections of Herbert 's writings have been published: 'Xavier Herbert' (1992), edited by Peter Pierce and Frances De Groen, which includes extracts from novels with other fiction, nonfiction and correspondence, and 'South of Capricornia' (1990), edited by Russell McDougall, which reprints stories written before 1934 and often published under pseudonyms. Xavier Herbert was awarded honorary doctorates by the Universities of Queensland and Newcastle.

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Beston was born in Gundagai in 1930. He completed a BA with Honours in English at Sydney University in 1949, before studying at Harvard University on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1955 and a Saltonstall Pacific Fellowship in 1960, when he completed his PhD. In 1970 he was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Queensland to write on Patrick White. -- excerpted from AustLit

Archival history

Status changed to draft pending formal decision, 7 Apr 2020, Belinda Spinaze

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Letter 10 Sept 1972 to John Beston declining to comment on the work of Patrick White, discussing Australian writers and their work in general.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Unrestricted access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area


Photocopy of handwritten letter.

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Migrated from LMS: April 2019, P.A.




Accession area