Early Closing Association: LECTURES DELIVERED BEFORE THE EARLY CLOSING ASSOCIATION, Melbourne, 1869-70. First Collected Edition; [iv], 24, 32, 32, 20(last blank), [2](half-page Errata slip, titled "Typographical Errors"), 24(last blank), 20, 24, 24; original cloth, gilt, with Price 5/- at foot of spine (spine ends & corners slightly rubbed); a nice copy; very scarce. Melbourne; Samuel Mullen; 1870.
***Ferguson 9351a (National Library copy only). Comprising eight lectures, each with separate title-page or drop-title:

CONDITION & PROSPECTS OF AUSTRALIA, as compared with older lands. A Lecture delivered at the Princess Theatre, Melbourne, on May 3, 1869, by H. J. Wrixon Esq., M.P. Being the first of a course of lectures under the auspices of the Early Closing Association. Published by direction of the Committee. Melbourne: Fergusson & Moore, 1869. (Ferguson 18910).

THE ORDER AND PLAN OF CREATION: the substance of Two Lectures delivered in connection with the Early Closing Association, by Professor M'Coy, of the Melbourne University. ... First Lecture: The Order of Creation, delivered at the Princess's Theatre, on Monday, June 28, 1869 [Drop title, pp. 1-10]. Second Lecture: The Plan of Creation. Delivered at the Duke of Edinburgh Theatre, Monday, July 4, 1870 [Drop title, pp. 11-32]. (Ferguson 11891).

Second Series of Lectures under the auspices of the Early Closing Association. HISTORY: A Lecture Delivered in the Duke of Edinburgh Theatre, Melbourne, on 11th July, 1870, by The Rev. A. M. Henderson, President of the Congressional College of Victoria. Melbourne: Published by Samuel Mullen, 1870. (Ferguson 10362).

THE PROGRESS OF ASTRONOMY: A Lecture, Delivered in the Duke of Edinburgh Theatre, on the 25th July, 1870, by R. L. J. Ellery, Esq., Government Astronomer. [Drop title]. (Ferguson 9415).

CREATION versus DEVELOPMENT: A Lecture Delivered at the Duke of Edinburgh Theatre, on Monday, 8th August, 1870, by the Rev. J. E. Bromby, D.D., Principal of the Church of England Grammar School. [Drop title]. (Ferguson 7466).

POLITICAL PROGRESS; its Tendency and Limit: A Lecture Delivered at the Duke of Edinburgh Theatre, on Monday, 22nd August, 1870, by the Hon. H. J. Wrixon, Solicitor-General of Victoria. [Drop title]. (Ferguson 18911).

PARLIAMENTS, ELECTIONS AND CANDIDATES: A Lecture delivered at the Duke of Edinburgh Theatre, on Monday, 5th September, 1870, by R. Murray Smith, Esq. [Drop title]. (Ferguson 15842).

BEYOND THE GRAVE: A Lecture delivered at the Town Hall, on Tuesday, 15th November, 1870. By the Rev. J. E. Bromby, D.D., Principal of the Church of England Grammar School. [Drop title]. (Ferguson 7468).

All these pamphlets are scarce or very scarce, this collected issue even more so. The introduction [to this collected issue] notes: "The first lecture in this volume inaugurated the winter series, 1869, and was published in pamphlet form, but met with so limited a sale, that it was considered inexpedient to continue the experiment. ... Considerable disappointment and dissatisfaction having been expressed, at the the non-publication of the whole of the first series, the Committee determined to make arrangements for publishing each Lecture of the winter series, 1870."

The Early Closing Association was an organisation of retail workers formed in Victoria in the 1850s which had counterparts in the U.K. in the 1840s and similar organisations were founded in South Australia, Queensland and New South Wales in later years. With the object of securing improved working hours and earlier shop closing times, the organisation relied on Public Meetings and 'moral persuasion' rather than strike action. The lectures by M'Coy and Bromby are of particular interest for the ongoing debates between religion and evolution. #65569

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