Steele Rudd – Arthur Hoey Davis

I believe Arthur Hoey Davis (pen name “Steele Rudd”) is by far and away Australia’s best ever writer, due to the originality and relevance of his stories and characters, combined with his great writing ability.

Only heard of ‘his’ Dad & Dave jokes?  (Actually written [very badly] by others…much to Steele Rudd’s dismay). Do your self a big favour and get hold of a copy of one of his books.

The stories Steele Rudd wrote were original and sensitive; sad enough to make readers cry and funny enough to have induce fits of laughter, by turns.  His books are full of recognisable Australian characters and the typical calamities that have fostered stoicism. Though he was born in 1868 and most of his books were written around the time of Australia’s Federation, Steele Rudd’s stories are as witty and fresh as when first written.  The mark of a truly great author is how well their books stand the test of time.  Steele Rudd leaves the rest for dust!

It’s an absolute tragedy that the years leading up to Steele Rudd’s death in 1935 were such tough ones, after such a hard start in life and despite his writing talent; and that he is now best remembered for the stupid, rural-demeaning ‘Dad and Dave’ jokes that others have since made up about two of his characters.

Rosemary Johnson has written some interesting information on Steele Rudd’s life for Australian Heritage Magazine, which includes details of the small memorial near East Greenmount (not far off the New England Highway in the Darling Downs, Southern Queensland).

Website comment on Steele Rudd (includes information on some of the many books he wrote)

Website information on the film based on Steele Rudd’s ‘On our Selection’

If Steele Rudd (Arthur Hoey Davis) had written about suburbia, I have no doubt his memory would be treated today with the respect his quality of writing deserved.

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