top of page
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCulloch first edition 1977

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCulloch first edition 1977


London: Macdonald and Jane’s Publishers Limited, 1977


Thick 8vo., blue publisher’s cloth lettered vertically in gilt along spine with publisher’s name to foot; in the unclipped pictorial dust wrapper (£4.95) with a design by Janet Halverson to cover, and author’s black and white photograph by Jim Kalett to rear flap; pp. [xii], 3-533, [i]; text block evenly toned, spine tips pushed and sunned; else a very good copy in the near-fine dust wrapper which just has a couple of light creases to spine ends. 


First edition. 


Set on a fictional sheep farm in the Australian outback, McCulloch’s second novel centres around the Cleary family between the years of 1915 and 1969. The title comes from the myth of the thornbird, a creature who “sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale…and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain.”


A classic of Australian fiction, the work has sold over 33 million copies worldwide, and has been adapted for television twice. It also inspired a musical of the same name, in which the lyrics were written by the author herself. 

    Product Page: Stores_Product_Widget
    bottom of page