Healey, Daniel. THE SEVEN CHRISTIANS OF CHAMPIONDOM. A Tale of the Times. Written and published for and by The Author. Sydney, N.S.W. Australia, 1885. 4to, First Edition; pp. 152; original half cloth, marbled sides, with gilt title label on front board, (spine and board edges a little worn, label rubbed; some mild foxing); a very good copy; rare. Sydney; The Author; 1885.
***Presented to St. Sophia's Library by John Lane Mullins with presentation plate on front pastedown & pocket on rear endpaper. Almost unrecorded, scoring a footnote only to the Author's work of satirical poetry 'The Cornstalk: His Habits and Habitat' (Sydney, 1893) on page 225 of Miller and Macartney, wherein is noted the existence of a 'multiscript' copy of this work in the Mitchell Library. Trove, which records only four copies, records also a contemporary review from The Bulletin (1 August 1885) which can hardly be bettered:

"THE SEVEN CHRISTIANS OF CHAMPIONDOM." We thought we had taken up an old tome written by the white fingers of a monk of the mediaeval times, all about demonology or theology, witchcraft or astrology. It was a pasteboard 10 x 8 thing of some 150 pages, in penmanship of various styles, copied off by a multigraph, or some such instrument, and entitled "The Seven Christians of Championdom." It is neither a fasciculus nor a palimpsest, however. The reader of a few pages will wish it was. Criticism of it is out of the question. Mr. Healey, the author, says, in a preface, that he wrote the tale for publication in a journal which failed to appear, and that as other Sydney newspapers would not "purchase the rubbish," he gives It to his readers in its present form. He heralds this announcement with "Hurrah!"

Mr. Healey must have lived with a man who made a few jokes. In the city of Yendis, which is no doubt Sydney, he tells a native, who wants employment, to dress himself as a new chum, and say he arrived by the last boat. He describes fully the workings of the Equality Syndicate. This syndicate will sell land to the poor, and lend them money to build. Thus all will be come landlords. What will the present landlords do with their streets of houses? Sell them to the syndicate. What will the syndicate do with them? Bring out immigrants and rent the houses to them.

Mr. Healey is sly occasionally. He can't be praised, however. Neither is it possible to blame him. One would first want to know what he would have been doing had he not been labouring over the contents of this book. Any action ever attributed to human agency would come natural to a man like Mr. Healey. Some of these actions would have been better work for him than inditing the scroll. Others of them, though, wouldn't. Hence our quandary. Perhaps we shall be doing the right thing if we employ Mr. Healey's own picturesque word. Well, then, "Hurrah!"

Neither of the terms 'multiscript' or 'multigraph' have an obvious meaning today, but the work has been produced by some sort of duplication of the Author's handwriting. He refers to transcribing the work, so it may have been to some sort of lithographic medium, or perhaps to a form of collotype or some proprietary process which did not survive the test of time. The number of copies originally produced is likely to have been quite small. The text is quite readable and the Author's hand quite legible. A curious and interesting work, written in anecdotal, reflective style, and not without wry humour.

The title is a play on that of Richard Johnson's SEVEN CHAMPIONS OF CHRISTENDOM referring to the alleged exploits of St. George, St. Andrew, etc. the patron saints of England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal and Wales, first published in 1597 and many times reprinted in the succeeding centuries. #67966

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