Seven Rivers

Douglas Stewart - The Seven Rivers

Duffy and Snellgrove
ISBN 1-875989-99-4

Douglas Stewart was born in New Zealand in 1913, moved to Australia in 1938 and died in 1985. In that time he wrote a great many books of poetry, verse plays and other books, establishing himself very firmly on the Australian literary scene, although he is hardly known outside the Antipodes. I was sent this book by Rick Keam and I can honestly say that it is one of the best books on fishing I have ever read. Because I am wary of trying to describe Stewart’s bewitching style, I am going to give you an excerpt so that you can make your own mind up:

Jack was an intrepid fellow in his way. He had served in the Air Force during the war and had had to bail out over Italy. He still did it sometimes. In the middle of the night, when all the old house was silent, you would hear a crash and a thump on his bedroom floor, and that would be Jack, bailing out over Italy. I think he got into the habit of stamping on snakes simply because, when there were so many of them at Countegany, you were practically walking on them all day anyhow. And of course you don't usually carry a wire fence with you when you are walking over the paddocks, and any stick you can find always breaks. So Jack just stood on them. You'd see him across the river or just ahead of you on the track, suddenly start marking time, lifting up his long bony legs and raising his knees above the tussocks, left, right, left, right, like a soldier, and that would be Jack Snow stamping on a snake.

I can’t find a retailer who lists this reprinted paperback in the UK, but however much effort it takes, make sure you get a copy.



Out of print