The Autobiography of Kerwin Maegraith
Kerwin Maegraith
This is the enjoyable recollection of one of Australia's forgotten black and white artists. Being in the mix of our rich cartoon history Kerwin's star should not be as diminished as it is. Kerwin's profession as a caricaturist became a passport to meeting and caricaturing many of the famous people of his time. As the back cover describes the contents, ' Meet the man who knew and drew Picasso in Paris, Einstein and Lawrence of Arabia in London, Hemingway in Hawaii and lived with Errol Flynn in Sydney. Kerwin Meagraith, caricaturist, journalist and true Aussie Larrikin, encountered the most famous people of his time from the twenties to the sixties.'
The reader's enjoyment of the book relies on their knowledge of the events and people mentioned, for example Will Rogers traveling Australia with Wirths Circus to the contentious bodyline cricket series.
Kerwin became of interest of late, Kerwin's newspapers articles (1936 and 1954) proved to be a valuable source in the Reclaiming Felix dispute, in fact he was friends with the subjects of two spurious 'in vogue' scandal books of the late seventies, both the claims of these two books have never been proven, whereas undeniable evidence to the contrary remains unanswered by the two authors.
Kerwin's friends under attack were Errol Flynn and Pat Sullivan, Kerwin shared a house in Kings Cross Sydney with Errol for a year, he was also great mates with Pat Sullivan the creator of Felix the Cat. The serendipity of the Sullivan anecdote from 1925 in Sydney almost made me choke on my Sargent's pie, well, they must have been good to last this long! Sargents go back to 1893. This is a book that you can sit back and enjoy, it is of course amply illustrated with Kerwin's drawings.
We are indebted to David Maegraith, Kerwin's grandson who published the autobiography through Createspace in ebook $ 8.99 and print $19.95.