Guide to the Papers of John Jones [MSS 116]

Finding Aid Index Request Information


Overview | Administrative Information | Container List

Each Finding Aid can be keyword searched using the Ctrl F function on your keyboard.

Manuscript Name Papers of John Jones
Manuscript Number MSS 116
Last Updated October 2021
Extent 2 cm (1 box)
Location Special Collections, UNSW Canberra
Abstract The collection includes correspondence and drafts of Fame and misfortune, a novel for young adults. The book was made into a television series and produced in serialised format in six instalments on ABC TV, 1986.


The collection has been arranged in box then folder order.

Date Range of Content


Biographical Note

John Jones was born on the 21 November 1938 in Liverpool, England, and arrived in Australia in 1956. Author, children's author and scriptwriter, John Jones grew up in Liverpool, England. At the age of eleven he topped Liverpool in his exams and won a scholarship to grammar school.

Moving to South Australia with his family, he attended Adelaide University, then worked for a while in a forestry office at Mount Gambier before becoming a high school teacher. He wrote three children's books and was the script writer for numerous TV shows including Bell Bird, Mush, Well well, Kids only and Man and his environment. A TV series was made from his book Fame and misfortune. He had just written the final episode when illness overtook him, and as he was taken to hospital in an ambulance he handed his mother the last instalment for her to post. He did not live to see the production.

John Jones died on 21 January 1986 in Mount Gambier, South Australia. His mother published posthumously an extract from his unpublished novel, 'The fifth horseman', based on the life of Adam Lindsay Gordon.

AustLit : The Resource for Australian Literature, April 2004.

Administrative Information


The collection is available for research.

Restrictions on Use

No copying is permitted without the permission of the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Papers of John Jones, Academy Special Collections, UNSW Canberra, Australian Defence Force Academy, MS 116, Box [Number], Folder [Number].


Acquired by the Academy Library, UNSW Canberra from his mother Rose Jones in 1988.

Additional Information

Separated Material

This collection originally included a number of publications, listed below. These works have been catalogued separately, and added to the Library's main collection.

Jones, John. Fame and misfortune. Melbourne : Longman Cheshire, 1979.

Jones, John. Scrap iron kid . Melbourne : Longman Cheshire, 1973, c1972.

Access Terms

Personal Names

Jones, John, 1938-1986 -- Archives.

Topical Subjects

Authors, Australian -- 20th century -- Archives.

Australian literature -- 20th century.



Children's authors


Container List

Box 1

Folder 1
Correspondence, 1978-1982 and drafts of Fame and misfortune, 1978

Correspondence from Christine Nicol, editor, Longman Cheshire, 11 July 1978
Annotated typescript draft, 35 p.
Carbon typescript draft, 31 p., Tuesday 1978
Annotated retyped draft with Tina's comments, 31 p. and a With compliments slip from Ellen Moody, Editorial Department, Longman Cheshire
Introduction and possible blurb
Invitation to meet the characters of Snail and McScavenge and the Creative Wrecking Corporation, December 1978
Letter of reference from Don Drummond, Drummond Publishing to Peter Stanley, Australian War Memorial, 9 June 1982