[Editor: This review of The Yellow Wave (by Kenneth Mackay) was published in The Albury Banner, and Wodonga Express (Albury, NSW), 12 November 1897.]
“The Yellow Wave”
Bentley’s (London) have just published a cheap edition of “The Yellow Wave,” a patriotic, soul-stirring, Australian story of the times, possibly not far distant, when our immediate descendants will reap the whirlwind from the seeds we are now apathetically allowing to be sown to-day.
In this very fascinating tale, in which love and adventure appeal to the hearts of his readers, Captain Kenneth Mackay, M.L.A., has skillfully crystallised in vivid prose, set off with local color, the dangers this fair land is heir to through unrestricted alien labor, Queensland land-grab railway syndicates, political party jealousy, and the conflict between capital and labor in every Australian province.
In thus depicting the coming Calmuck invasion of the north Mr. Mackay has rendered a really national service; his book sounds a note of warning that should find a ready echo in the heart of every reader. All who hold by a “White Australia” should read this book, and having read it should spread the lesson it teaches as a truth to be seized by every resident between Cobar and Carpentaria, from Augusta to Port Darwin.
It is chock-full of local incident and political photographs, and in the parts of Sir Peter M’Closkie, Sir Robert Blake, Hon. Henry Lewis, and other prominent personages in the book, one can easily recognise Sir Thomas M’Ilwraith, Sir George Dibbs, Hon. Edmund Barton, and other living actors in the scenes of to-day.
It is essentially a novel with a purpose — and that purpose being purely patriotic, it should be read by every Australian who loves his country.
Captain Mackay is not only a writer with an ideal, he is also a member of Parliament with a very practical purpose — he wishes to keep Australia free from the Mongolian taint. And as he tells his tale, so he points his moral. Observant readers will note with satisfaction that as Captain Mackay preaches, so he practises. In the Australian Light Horse he is now raising, our patriotic politician is actually reproducing on Australian soil “Hatten’s Ringers,” that troop of irregular light horse with which the hero of the novel attempted to stem the rapid onward march of the ruthless “Yellow Wave.” It is not often that a novelist obtains the opportunity of putting his precepts into actual practice.
The Albury Banner, and Wodonga Express (Albury, NSW), 12 November 1897, p. 25
Also published in:
The Molong Argus (Molong, NSW), 12 November 1897, p. 4
The Goulburn Herald (Goulburn, NSW), 26 November 1897, p. 6
Calmuck = (also spelt “Kalmuck”, “Kalmyk”) someone belonging to a ethnically Mongol people, predominantly Buddhists, who migrated from Mongolia in the 17th century to an area of southern Russia (their population is concentrated in the Republic of Kalmykia, located on the north shore of the Caspian Sea)
chock-full = very full; completely full (similar to the term: chock-a-block)
Hon. = an abbreviation of “honourable”, especially used as a style to refer to government ministers, or as a courtesy to members of parliament (as a style, it is commonly capitalised, e.g. “the Hon. Member”)
Light Horse = lightly armed and lightly armoured troops mounted on horses (as opposed to heavy cavalry, which were heavily armed and heavily armoured troops, whose warhorses were sometimes heavily armored as well); in later times, the term referred to mounted troops (e.g. the Australian Light Horse, which usually operated as mounted infantry, but was also used in cavalry roles) and to armoured vehicle units (e.g. the Australian 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment)
M.L.A. = Member of the Legislative Assembly
photograph = a word-picture, created by a writer; a literary depiction of something, someone, a place, or an event; an image kept in one’s memory (can also refer to: a picture created with a camera)
[Editor: Changed “purely patriotic” to “purely patriotic,” (added a comma).]
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