A Rider of the Sixties

A Rider of the Sixties

This is based on a true story, with altered names, about how the Rider “Desmond” (really Mary Grant Bruce’s father, Eyre Lewis Bruce), came to meet, and later to propose marriage to, his sweetheart, “Jean Sutherland” (Mary Atkinson Whittakers) at a remote property “Barindah” (Tubbut) in Victoria’s high country close to what became the border with New South Wales, and near the “Wangong” (Snowy) River.

The story is full of snippets of bush lore and Australian idiom.  Its description of how an Irishman, most probably with little or no swimming ability, and his horse crossed the Snowy River in full flood stands as one of the great narrative pieces of Australian literature.


A Rider of the Sixties and A New Year’s Dawn are under copyright owned by the Mary Grant Bruce Family Trust.

First Published in: January 1904 as A New Year’s Dawn, a three-part serial
First Publication: The Leader
Place First Published: Melbourne
Second Published in: November 1937 as A Rider of the Sixties
Second Publication: Blackwood’s Magazine
Place Second Published: Edinburgh

A Rider of the Sixties was republished in The Peculiar Honeymoon.


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