‘The Bloke’ learns etiquette

A scene from the Sentimental Bloke

'An then o’course we 'as a ding dong row…’

One of my favourite books here in the Library is Australian Etiquette, or the Rules and Usages of the Best Society in the Australasian Colonies, Together with Their Sports, Pastimes, Games, and Amusements (People’s Publishing Company, Melbourne, 1885. Facsimilie Edition by JM Dent, 1980).

An original edition of the book was used in the Australian silent feature film The Sentimental Bloke (1919). This film tells the story of a working class larrikin – The Bloke – redeemed by the love of a good woman, Doreen. The Bloke consults the book prior to meeting Doreen’s mother for the first time. As there are chapters devoted to the of introductions, courtship and home life, The Bloke probably finds a lot of useful advice. Unfortunately there is nothing mentioned in the section on ‘indoor amusements’ advising against hitting a police officer during a two-up game.

There are over 300 items in the collection related to the film and its production, including several restorations of the film, production photographs and stills, promotional material, papers, oral histories and interviews, soundtracks, and commentaries. Read more about the director Raymond Longford on australianscreen.

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