Meticulously researched using contemporary newspaper reports, court records, published memoirs, private letters and diaries, Michael Wilding tells the story of three troubled geniuses of Australian writing.
The study spreads out to cover the early and later years of the three writers and in doing so, as its centrepiece, recreates literary and Bohemian life in Melbourne in the 1860s. It is aptly subtitled ‘A documentary’, since it shares many of the characteristics of that genre.
Michael Wilding (born 5 January 1942 in Worcester, England) is a British writer and academic who has spent most of his career in Australia.
As an academic, he has had a distinguished career as a literary scholar, critic, and editor. Since the 1970s he has earned a reputation as an "important critic and scholar of Australian literature". From the late 1960s he was one of a group of prominent writers, editors and publishers who promoted the "new writing" movement in Australia.
By the 1970s he was writing his own "exciting and innovative fiction". To date he has published more than twenty novels and short story collections.