I unashamedly admit I haunt op shops to find those rare treasures hidden by a discarded hand.
Cobbers by Thomas Wood has been my treasure trove on 2 occasions; both times I grabbed the book, as some tomes are so good and hard to find it's almost a crime to leave a discovered copy behind.
Thomas Wood wrote about his journeys in and around Australia during 1930-1932 and the book was reprinted almost every year from 1934 until 1963 (possibly later editions were issued).
His style is humourous,witty, fresh, and entertaining; not at all dated from the distance of years.
His love for this country is obvious in Cobbers.
Wood's descriptions of his travels and exploits are coloured throughout with not only his pleasure in Australia and the people but the fact he was able to accurately define the differing characteristics of each state and the people therein. Some of those have not changed at all !
This book has been claimed to be, still today, the most perceptive book ever written on Australia by a visitor and I can certainly agree with that statement.
Thomas Wood was an Oxford educated musician and teacher who wrote many pieces of music along with several books and considered Waltzing Matilda to be such a worthy unofficial anthem of Australia that he included the words and music in Cobbers; the very first international publication of the song, which increased in popularity with sales of the book.
In 1940 he wrote Cobbers Campaigning as a tribute to the Australians fighting in WW2, in which he stated 'There is no turning back. I am now part of Australia, and—for ever—Australia is part of me'.
If you enjoy witty, funny autobiographies where the author has a sharp eye for character,detail and definition - or if you'd just enjoy an entertaining chuckle - keep your eyes peeled for a copy of this splendid book.
The few dollars it may cost you are a worthy reward for the many laughs and considerations it will give in return.
Information on Thomas Wood available HERE, HERE, and HERE.