Bert started performing in Vaudeville for Keith’s Theatre in 1907 and Mark Twain died in 1910, so this encounter and journey took place sometime between.
Bert would have been a young man (24) hauling buckets of paint as a scenic artist when Mark Twain visited Australia in 1895-96. Twain gave orations in the largest theatre houses in both Sydney & Melbourne.
he remarked on Australia –
“Australian history … does not read like history, but the most beautiful of lies”.
“Sydney harbour was superbly beautiful”. “God made the harbour … but Satan made Sydney”.
Twain travelled down to Melbourne by rail.
His comments about disembarking in the “biting cold at night” in Albury, to change trains, a usual requirement until the standard-gauge rail line was installed from Sydney to Melbourne in the 1960s, are succinct.
“Think of the paralysis of intellect that gave that idea birth.”
He described “the Melbourne Cup as the Australian National Day”
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