The Graven Image: A Tale of Two Hemispheres


Peter Rowland, Editor

E. W. HORNUNG’S first book, A Bride from the Bush, was greeted with acclaim in 1890. The critics were delighted by its freshness and originality but puzzled at having to wait until 1893 for a sequel. It may have seemed that the novelist was resting on his laurels. But “Willie” Hornung had, in fact, been hard at work in 1891 on an ambitious romance; he came within a hair’s breadth of finishing it. Whether it was the upheaval resulting Cover The Graven Imagefrom a move to a ­different address, illness, or another insurmountable problem, the creative process suddenly stopped.

That novel is The Graven Image, a sensitive, beautifully wrought narrative with much humour and drama and vivid descriptions of people and places alike, the action moving from a cheerless Midland town in England to the wide open spaces of southeast Australia. This is the second unfinished novel edited by Peter Rowland, the companion volume being His Brother’s Blood: The Last (Unfinished) Novel, published by ELT Press in the fall of 2015.

As with His Brother’s Blood, Rowland rounds off The Graven Image with speculation on how, at one level, it might have reached a resolution. Together these books are designed to celebrate in 2016 the 150th anniversary of Hornung’s birth.

PETER ROWLAND is a biographer, historian and editor. His subjects range from Thomas Day, Dickens and Macaulay to Sherlock Holmes, the last Liberal Governments and David Lloyd George. Recent books include a study of Mary Elizabeth Hawker (“Lanoe Falconer”). He wrote Raffles and His Creator: The Life and Works of E. W. Hornung (1999), the first-ever biography of Hornung, when original materials were in short supply; he is now at work on a substantially revised second edition. For more information on Rowland’s writings, see his website:


$45.00   224 pp.

2016   978-0-944318-75-1  Acid-Free Paper

No. 31 in the 1880-1920 British Authors Series

Also an E-Book at Johns Hopkins's Project MUSE

E-Book 978-0-944318-76-8


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