Outback Penguin: Richard Lane's Barwell Diaries

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Richard Lane was one of three brothers who founded Penguin Books in 1935. But like all great stories, his life didn't start there.

After sailing to Adelaide in 1922, Richard began work as a boy migrant – a farm apprentice living in rural South Australia as part of the 'Barwell Boys' scheme.

In Australia, he deepened his appreciation for literature, and understood how important it was to make good writing widely accessible.

Richard's diaries – the honest and moving words of a teenager, so very far away from home – capture vividly his life and loves; the characters he met; the land he worked; the families he depended on; and his coming of age in a new land.

A remarkable social record and one of the best first-hand accounts of the child migrant experience, the diaries also capture the ideas and the entrepreneurship that led to the founding of the twentieth century's most famous publishing house.

With a foreword by eminent Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey, Richard Lane's diaries are an important document for the history of rural Australia and global publishing

'One of the most revealing stories yet written about rural life in Australia.' Geoffrey Blainey