Australia’s slide into Tyranny # Primitive societies were obsessed with fertility. Any drought, famine or pestilence was seen as a punishment from superior beings. The safety and welfare of the tribe depended on the health and life of a semi-divine or demi-god ruler. A healthy vigorous and virile king ensures natural and human productivity. A sick, maimed or impotent king brings blight and disease to the land and the people.
Banjo Paterson 1864 - 1941 # Born in 1864, on his grandparents’ station near Orange, his parents later moved to Yass, Andrew Barton Paterson received a sound education at a day boy at Sydney Grammar, staying with his educated Grandmother in Gladesville who inspired his interest in history and writing. He articled as a solicitor but his real interest was the Bush and writing. He had his first poem published in the Bulletin in 1886 at 22 years old.
Early Australian Literature # Many Colonial writers feel rejected for three reasons; the personal – they don’t fit in, the environmental – a harsh climate, and the professional; “How can you love people who don’t want to read your books?” The true writer demands more than an audience; they want an educated audience, a shared background of mind – an audience that responds, that engages. Our first native born of pure convict stock was Charles Harpur.
Lawson’s depiction of women # The enigma of Lawson’s writing is that while demonstrating the ideal of the Bushman-as-hero, he nevertheless, also acknowledges the heroic qualities of the Australian Bushwoman. It is highly probable that he was influenced by his relationships with his mother, Louisa, and his wife Bertha. Pioneer Women writers include, Henry Handel Richardson (Ethel Florence Richardson), Barbara Baynton, Ethel Turner and Nettie Palmer, colonial writers, who stood apart from the governing myths of blokes, bush and The Bulletin.
Joe Wilson’s Courtship by Henry Lawson # The Joe Wilson stories are generally regarded as one of Lawson’s best stories. Written in London perhaps for English audience, they were the closest Lawson came to writing a novel. They first appeared in Blackwood’s Magazine in this order: “Brighten’s Sister-in-Law”, “Past Carin’” , “A Double Buggy a Lahey’s Creek”, “Joe Wilson’s Courtship”, and “A Lonely Track” They contain much of what was in earlier stories: Mrs Spicer’ s son turning up with fresh meat, Mrs Spicer is a more dramatic version of Drover’s wife, Mary insists on the civilising ritual of Sunday promenade.
Introduction to Henry Lawson # Henry Lawson was born in a tent on the Grenfell Gold field on a stormy night of the 16 (th) – 17 (th) June, 1867 to Peter Larsen (A Norwegian sailor who jumped ship to dig for Gold) and Louisa Albury (the granddaughter of John and Anne Albury who with their four sons became bounty emigrants in 1838 from England to New South Wales).
Henry Lawson - General Observations # Lawson had a dark, more realistic view of rural hardship rebelling against the Romantic movement. In doing so he created a new style of writing: dryly laconic, intensely Australian, passionately egalitarian and socialist and deeply humane. Instead of nature being identified with god, he depicted the “hell” pioneers had to endure The Bush as Scourge – turns people eccentric, drives them mad ‘Past carin’.
Lawson’s Technique: # Lawson represents a complete break from the romantic glamorised depiction of landscape and environment. The Australian landscape is depicted realistically rather than in a derivative English style. Romantic Art flourished following the French Revolution, when all things seemed possible and life was on a trajectory of unlimited improvement heading towards perfectibility and the ultimate triumph of good. It believed that Nature was good and therefore the ideal of goodness was a natural state achievable by man.
Biography of Henry Lawson # Henry Lawson was born in a tent on the Grenfell Gold field on a stormy night of the 16^(th) – 17^(th) June, 1867 to Peter Larsen (A Norwegian sailor who jumped ship to dig for Gold) and Louisa Albury (the granddaughter of John and Anne Albury who with their four sons became bounty emigrants in 1838 from England to New South Wales). A few days later Louisa registered his birth at Forbes as Henry Lawson.
Elements of Art in The Drover’s Wife # Henry Lawson’s short stories were the first to describe the Australian landscape realistically and depict characters as distinctly Australian with Australian voices and cadences. Lawson also uses techniques such as humour and imagery to convey his message to us the responders, he is known for his gifted writings and truthfulness. First published in 1894, then in England in 1902, The English Critic, Edward Garnett summarised it as: “The Drover’s Wife is a sketch of a woman in the bush, left for months alone with her four children while her husband is up-country droving.