Culture Buff

See You at the Toxteth

28 September 2019

9:00 AM

28 September 2019

9:00 AM

The Toxteth is a hotel on Glebe Point Road in Sydney. Cliff Hardy probably called it a pub. Hardy was the hero of numerous crime novels by Peter Corris (1942-2018), an academic with a Phd in history from ANU, a journalist and a novelist of historical and crime fiction. He was the doyen of Australian crime-writers, and his most popular books were those featuring Hardy, a knockabout chap, raised in beachside Maroubra, ex-army, law school dropout, insurance investigator turned private eye. Hardy proved to be a fruitful source of inspiration, resulting in 35 novels and seven collections of stories.  His widow, Jean Bedford, also a noted writer, has published a collection: See You at the Toxteth: The Best of Cliff Hardy and Corris on Crime (Allen & Unwin).

Cliff Hardy loved the Toxteth. The hotel took its name from the Toxteth Estate, a late 19th century subdivision of Toxteth Park, the centrepiece of which was an 1829 marine villa designed by John Verge for George Allen, the first person to qualify as a lawyer in Australia. My paternal ancestors had a house on the Toxteth Estate and now several of my descendants live there in a late-19th century villa. The Verge house remains as part of St Scholastica’s School; the Estate is regarded as one of Sydney’s most important turn-of-the-century townscapes. The Toxteth is still a lively pub, certainly the spiritual home of Cliff Hardy and possibly his creator Peter Corris.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
Close