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Published in 1896, Henry Lawson's first volume of poems was titled In the Days When The World Was Wide and Other Verses.
Prior to Angus and Robertson publishing these poems, Lawson had been involved in a very public spat with Banjo Paterson. These had taken place in the pages of The Bulletin newspaper between 1892 and 1893 and the banter centred around the significance of 'the Australian bush'. While Lawson argued against the romanticised view of country life held by Paterson, they both developed a respect for each other's work and their opposing views helped shape 'the bush' as a significant part of Australia's cultural identity.
In the Days When the World Was Wide and Other Verses featured anthologised poems and the best of Lawson's contributions to The Bulletin and in 1896 was released in two editions. The first, a limited edition of 50 copies and the second, a print run of 2000 copies. The State Library of New South Wales holds four copies from the limited edition, numbers 8/50, 22/50, 27/50 and 30/50, and three of these illustrate the importance of collecting what can at first appear to be copies of the same work.
Each copy held by the Library was modified after its publication into a document which tells its own unique story about the collector who owned the book.