In reviewing “Long Odds” from time to time, in its brief notices of the Colonial Monthly, the press has frequently blamed the author for laying the scene in England instead of in Australia. It seems, at first sight, natural to expect that a story written by a person living in Australia, published in an Australian periodical, and offered to an Australian public, should contain description of nothing that was not purely Australian.
The best Australian novel that has been, and probably will be written, is “Geoffrey Hamlyn,” and any attempt to paint the ordinary squatting life of the colonies, could not fail to challenge unfavourable comparison with that admirable story. But I have often thought, and I daresay other Australian readers have thought also—How would Sam Buckley get on in England?
My excuse, therefore, in offering to the Australian public a novel in which the plot, the sympathies, the interest, the moral, are all English, must be that I have endeavoured to depict, with such skill as is permitted me, the fortunes of a young Australian in that country which young Australians still call “Home.”
COLLINS STREET, MELBOURNE,
JUNE 8TH, 1869.