The World's Rough Hand
by H. Phelps Whitmarsh
ISBN 0 85905 336 9, (2005 Reprint 1898), Soft Cover, 108pp,160grams
$22.00 + POST
"Lest it be thought that my misfortunes and penniless condition weighed heavily upon me. I would here record that throughout my life I was never more light of heart, more free from care, more genuinely happy , than at this very time, when the world's rough hand was knocking the boy into shape of a man. There were times, to be sure, when I cast down; there were periods of homesickness, moments of bitter disappointment; but these downs in my experience were always of short duration, and, by comparison, the ups became doubly joyous. As a rubber ball, when struck, receives a dent and then regains its spheric shape, so did I, with youthful buoyancy, soon recovered from these blows of circumstance. It was all, indeed, one grand adventure, crammed with interest, the cham of novelty, and real life."
Hubert Phelps Whitmarsh, aged 21, after having spent seven years before the mast, arrived in Adelaide in the mid 1880's. His crowded life as a "sailor, sundowner, miner, shepherd, fishmonger, barber, roustabout, officer, diver and pearler" in South Australia, New South Wales and Western Australia is described with vivid pictures of people and places of Silverton, Geraldton, Cossack, Roebourne, and the Kimberley coast. He returned to England in 1888 and was later a journalist in the United States.