The first issue of Australian Quarterly appeared in March 1929. Devoted to 'the discussion of Politics, Economics, Industry, Education, Literature and the Arts', the Australian Quarterly maintained a strong interest in all these fields for the following thirty years.
First established as the magazine of the NSW Constitutional Association, the Australian Quarterly became the official organ for the Australian Instititute of Political Science in 1934. At this time the poet and wool-classer David Campbell was appointed editor, a position he held until 1959. Many major political figures published in the Australian Quarterly. These included R. G. Menzies, R. G. Casey, H. V. Evatt, W. C. Wentworth and B. S. Stevens. In addition, a large number of critics contributed articles on such topics as nationalism, censorship, world literature, cinema and the theatre.
The number of articles on Australian literature increased significantly in the 1940s, providing some of the first significant analyses of writers such as Charles Harpur, Henry Kingsley, Henry Kendall, Marcus Clark, Christopher Brennan, Steele Rudd, Henry Handel Richardson and Kenneth Slessor. For many years A. R. Chisholm, Leslie Rees, Norman Bartlett and Clement Semmler were regular contributors.Other contributors included Ethel Anderson, Brian Elliott, Max Harris, Vance Palmer, Harry Hooton, T. Inglis Moore, Colin Roderick, James McAuley, Judith Wright, R. G. Howarth, C. H. Hadgraft, Donovan Clarke, G. A. Wilkes and Harry Heseltine. Following Campbell's retirement, the number of contributions on literature and the arts declined markedly. Subsequent editors of the Australian Quarterly have not resumed the magazine's earlier format, but occasional reviews of general interest books occasionally appear.
Indexes published separately to cover periods: (1929-1953); (1954-1963); (1964-1968); (1969-1978).
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