[Editor: This letter to the editor, written by Basil Garstang (John Le Gay Brereton), was published in The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW), 20 November 1930.]
To the editor of The Herald.
Sir, — “The life austere” still too often waits upon the man of letters in Australia. Literature is the least remunerative of the arts, and very few of our authors can make enough by their pens to secure themselves against hard times. It is pleasant to see the well-named “Fellowship of Australian Writers” doing what it can to assist and to enlist help for a brother craftsman.
Mr. Arthur Bayldon is well known as a conscientious literary artist — a poet, critic, and writer of short stories — and those who know him personally can testify that he is a man of high ideals, fired with an almost defiant spirit of independence. He and his wife, brave comrades, have never asked for the help that they have sorely needed. Long wasting illness has worn the poet down and reduced his earning power.
The “Fellowship” is arranging for him a benefit (under the patronage of his Excellency the Governor and Lady Game), and ‘Steele Rudd,’ with characteristic generosity, has placed at its disposal one of his cheerful comedies, “McClure and the Poor Parson.”
Laughter is worth more than usual at this season, and it is to be hoped that those who need cheering-up, as well as those who have at heart the interests of Australian literature, will see and seize their opportunity.
I am, etc.,
The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, NSW), 20 November 1930, p. 6
man of letters = a man who is: an essayist, journalist, literary critic, or editor; a professional writer; an author or poet; a scholar or intellectual; an authority or expert in the liberal arts, especially in the field of literature
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]