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Biographical Index of Writers, 1901.note




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BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX

ABBOTT, PERCE. Born Pittsburg, Penn., U.S.A., 30th September, 1859; father Scottish, mother Irish. Married, with one child. After a joyous, stormy youth was trained for the law; but before serving his articles was offered post of U.S. Consul at Dunedin. Thence went to Fiji as managing clerk to a barrister who was also editor of Fiji Gazette. Came to New South Wales and edited a Riverina paper. All over the world in the last five years. In Kimberley the night of the Jameson raid; made a living in London as paragraphist, song-writer, and entertainer; conducted the orchestra at Pier Pavilion, Southend. Returned to Australia. Died at Melbourne, 9th Nov., 1901.

BECKE, GEORGE LOUIS (“Ula Tula,” “Te Matau,” “Papalagi”); literary writer. Born at Port Macquarie, N.S.W., 1848; of English parentage. Married, with one child. Trader and supercargo throughout the South Sea Islands from 1870 to 1893. Returned to Sydney and contributed many stories to The Bulletin; till leaving for London in 1896. Publications; By Reef and Palm, London, 1894; His Native Wife, Sydney, 1895, London, 1896; The Ebbing of the Tide, London, 1895; A First Fleet Family (with Walter Jeffery), Sydney and London, 1896; The Mystery of the Laughlin Islands (with Walter Jeffery), 1896; Pacific Tales, London, 1897; Wild Life in Southern Seas, London, 1897; Rodman the Boat-Steerer, London, 1898; The Mutineer (with Walter Jeffery), Sydney and London, 1898; Ridan the Devil, London, 1899; The Naval Pioneers of Australia (with Walter Jeffery), London, 1899; Old Convict Days (edited), London, 1899; Admiral Phillip (with Walter Jeffery), London, 1899; Tom Wallis, London, 1900; Arrecifos, London, 1900; Tessa: The Trader's Wife, London, 1901; The Tapu of Banderah (with Walter Jeffery), London, 1901; By Rock and Pool, London, 1901.

CASTIEAU, JOHN BUCKLEY (“Paul Mell”); public servant. Born Beechworth, Vic., 4th May, 1868; of British parentage. Married, with two children. Formerly free-lance journalist: in 1889 joined the Industrial Schools and Police department of Vic. public service.

DAVIS, ARTHUR HOEY (“Steele Rudd”); public servant. Born Drayton, Q., 14th November, 1868; father Welsh, mother Irish. Married in 1894 Violet Brodie, of Greenmount, Darling Downs; three children. “Was born eighth in family of thirteen. When a child, removed to Stanthorpe, then to Emu Creek, where his father (blacksmith by trade) engaged in farming


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Went to school (sometimes) at Emu Creek till about twelve, then struck out on his own and went ‘picking up’ at shearing sheds. From fifteen to eighteen permanently employed at stock-riding and droving for Pilton station. About this age found himself deciding between the Bush and the Office. Preferred the Bush, but was persuaded into the Office. Received appointment as junior clerk and messenger in office of Curator of Intestate Estates at Brisbane. Didn't like the ways of an office, but made the best of it. Developed a taste for reading. Worked hard in spare hours, and among other things taught himself shorthand; subsequently assisted to form Q. Shorthand Writers' Association. In '89 was appointed clerk in Sheriff's office, and made the acquaintance of The Hangman. Attracted by Gordon's poems, and by Lawson's work in The Bulletin, decided to try his hand; and, after contributing Bush matter to local papers, commenced a series of sketches in The Bulletin— ‘On Our Selection.’ Belonged to Brisbane Gymnasium, played football, cricket, tackled rowing, and at present time is generally regarded as a bit mad on polo. Thinks it is the best game ever played by man or brute.” Publication: On Our Selection, Sydney, 1899.

DEMPSEY, EDWARD JAMES; journalist. Born Sydney, N.S.W., 28th May, 1866; of Irish parentage. Unmarried. Assistant-editor of The Town and Country Journal, Sydney, since 1893.

DORRINGTON, ALBERT (“Alba Dorion”). Born at Stratford-on-Avon, Eng., 14th August, 1871; of English parentage. Unmarried. “Attended King Edward's Grammar School, Birmingham, until his sixteenth year. Came to Australia in 1884; and, after many unsuccessful bids for fortune in Melbourne and Adelaide, began a tour through Australia as a newspaper and general advertising canvasser. Within two years had wandered from Adelaide to Bourke, from Bourke to Torres Straits, working the back towns, and thereby gaining a knowledge of bush life. In 1895 began contributing to The Bulletin. Now in business in Sydney; devoting his spare time to literature.” Publication: Castro s Last Sacrament and Other Stones, Sydney, 1900.

DYSON, EDWARD GEORGE (“Silas Snell”); journalist. Born at Morrison's (“Muddy Water Holes” of the early days), between Geelong and Ballarat, Vic., 4th March, 1865; of English parentage, Unmarried. “Attended State Schools at Bendigo, Ballarat, and at Alfredton, a small mining township near Ballarat, until thirteen years of age, Spent most of youth at Alfredton. Fossicked assiduously as a youngster at Bendigo, Ballarat, Clunes and Alfredton, and soaked up the mining inspiration that has since trickled out in verse and story. Left school to work as a whim-boy, battery-feeder, etc. Went to a Tasmanian field, Lefroy, at the age of seventeen; worked there in the shallow alluvial and afterwards sluicing for pyrites, and on the brace. Returned to Vic., and worked in batteries at Gordon. Was


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trucker at the Home Paddock, Smeaton. Began to write terrible verse and American humour for Ballarat papers about this time. In Melbourne at the age of nineteen, at work in a factory, writing of evenings for local weeklies and sending vagrant pars. to The Bulletin. Became sub-editor of Life, a Melbourne society paper, shortly afterwards. Since then occupied as journalist—contributing as a free-lance to The Bulletin, Punch, Age, Argus, Leader, etc. Started paper, The Ant, in 1890—disaster!” Publications: Rhymes from the Mines (verse), Sydney, 1896; Below and on Top (stories and sketches), Melbourne, 1898; The Gold-Stealers, a Story of Waddy, London, 1901.

EDMOND, JAMES (“Titus Salt,” “T.S.”); journalist. Born at Glasgow, Scotland, 21st April, 1859. Father Scottish; mother Scottish by one side, French by the other. Married, with three children, Sub-editor of The Bulletin. Publication: A Policy for the Commonwealth, Sydney, 1900.

ELMES, FRANCES FITZGERALD (“S.O.S.”, “A. Leo Watts,” “Mars.”); journalist. Born Somersetshire, Eng., 23rd April, 1867; father Irish, Mother English. Unmarried.

EVISON, JOSEPH SPENCE (“Ivo,” “Ovi,” “Wellington Watchman,” “Taiping,” “Phiz,” etc.); journalist. Born Sunderland, Eng., 3rd June, 1841; of English parentage. Married. “Educated (?) at Dame's School, Titchfield, Hants., and ‘finished’ at Royal Naval School, Newcross, Eng. Intended for Royal Navy, but joined Duncan Dunbar's merchant service as midshipman when thirteen and a-half years old. Made several voyages to China and India; remained some years in former country, where saw a lot of the Taiping rebellion and Gordon's force. Returned to England; subsequently went to India, thence to Abyssinia during the campaign, returning to India at finish thereof. Have seen a good deal of the world and of sailorising; commanded most civilised and uncivilised rigs, and once helped to steal a gunboat. Also owned a junk, which was taken by Chinese pirates near Chusan, China—managed to swim ashore. Have seen some regular and some irregular soldiering, greatly to advantage of latter. Went to Maoriland twenty years ago, and have been in Australasia ever since, becoming tamed and domesticated by means of lecturing and journalism—specially the latter, which is very taming. General impression of life is that it is hard. But the good times I have had! Oh, the good times!” Publications: Murder Will Out, Wellington, 1889; Parliamentary Portraits, Christchurch, 1892-4.

FAVENC, ERNEST (“Dramingo,” “Delcomyn”); literary writer. Born at London, Eng., 21st October, 1845; of English parentage. Married, with one child. “Went to the Upper Burdekin district of North Queensland in 1865; working on cattle stations, and droving, until 1878. In charge of The Queenslander exploring expedition from Blackall, Q., to Port Darwin, N.T., 1878–1879. In 1882-83-84, examined rivers running into the Gulf of


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Carpentaria in the Northern Territory of S.A. Traced Macarthur River from head to salt water. Found track from Nicholson River to N.T. tableland. In 1888, examined head waters of Ashburton and Gascoyne Rivers in W.A. and found new tributaries of these rivers.” Publications: The History of Australian Exploration, London and Sydney, 1888; The Last of Six: Tales of the Austral Tropics, Sydney, 1893 (as Tales of the Austral Tropics), London, 1894; The Secret of the Australian Desert, London, 1896; The Moccasins of Silence, Sydney, 1896; Marooned in Australia, London, 1897; My Only Murder (and other tales from The Bulletin), Sydney, 1898. Two serial stories contributed to The Queenslander are Jack Essingham and Lost in the Winning (not published in book form).

FLETCHER, HENRY; orchardist and literary writer. Born at London, Eng., 23rd August, 1856; of British parentage. Married, with five children. Publication: The North Shore Mystery (novel), Sydney. 1899.

LAWSON, HENRY ARCHIBALD (“Joe Swallow”); literary writer. Born on the Weddin Mountain diggings, Near Grenfell, N.S.W., 17th June, 1869. His father was Peter Hertzberg Larsen, a Norwegian; his mother Louisa Albury (of English yeoman stock), a native of Guntawang, near Mudgee, N.S.W. (Thus Lawson's name is really Larsen; but the Anglicised form appears to have been nearly always used by his father, who is “Peter Larsen” in his marriage certificate, but “Peter Archibald Lawson” in his son's birth certificate. The “Archibald” results from a misunderstanding on the part of the minister who officiated at the christening, and who, being rather deaf, mistook “Hertzberg” for “Archibald,” and sent the young Australian writer through the world with an English instead of a Norse middle-name—much to his father's disgust.) Peter Larsen was the son of a Norsk teacher of navigation, and a clever man with brain and hand. Henry Lawson's mother is well-known in Sydney as speaker and writer, and is proprietress of the woman's paper Dawn. At the time of Lawson's birth his father was a miner, but when he was a few months old his parents took a farm at Wilbertree, near Mudgee, N.S.W. His father gradually drifted into contracting, and in helping him and assisting on the farm Lawson made acquaintance with the bush life round his home. At 17 he came with his mother to Sydney, where he learnt the trade of coach-painter. His first published composition was “The Song of the Republic,” verses contributed to The Bulletin in 1887, and since then his pen has rarely been idle. In '89 he went to Albany, W.A., following his trade. Returned to Sydney, and helped on a radical weekly, The Republican. In '90–91 was on the staff of The Boomerang, Brisbane. In '92 travelled from Bourke to the Queensland border, “swagging it” as bush labourer for six months. In '93 went to Maoriland; occupied as sawmill labourer and telegraph lineman. Returned to Sydney; was for a month on staff of The Daily Worker, and for a little longer supernumerary clerk in N.S.W. Govt. service. Again


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to Westralia (Perth), painting. To Maoriland as school-teacher. Returned to Sydney, and left for London in 1900. Married, with two children. Publications: Short Stories in Prose and Verse, Sydney, 1894; In the Days when the World was Wide and other Verses, Sydney, 1896; While the Billy Boils (literary sketches), Sydney, 1896; On the Track; and Over the Sliprails, Sydney, 1900; Verses, popular and humorous, Sydney, 1900; The Country I Come From (prose reprint), London, 1901.

LIGHT, MAUD (“M.L.”); teacher of kindergarten. Born at Karaka Hill, Thames goldfield, M.L., 8th May, 1870; of English parentage. Unmarried. Educated in Sydney. “First attempt to write—beginning of story on half-sheet of writing paper—member of family chased me upstairs and downstairs for it and read every word—thus is justice meted out! This effected temporary cure. Next article in Melbourne, when The Age offered a prize. All I remember is sneaking to the city along the St. Kilda road. The Age hadn't that discrimination which usually accompanies its —er—Age; and the M.S. was returned. Treasured the wrapper, wondering if it might have been addressed by ‘The Vagabond.’ Tried school-teaching and learning at same time. ‘Went on the land’—woman's way; that is, learnt typewriting and shorthand, and—answered advertisements. All the paper in The Bulletin office would not suffice to express the hilarity of your humble servant on finding a concoction of her own in the Xmas number of 1899. There's only one thing better—getting the cheque for it.”

MACK, MARIE LOUISE; literary writer. Born at Hobart, Tasmania, 10th October, 1871; father German, mother from N. Ireland. Married. Educated in Sydney; became teacher, and later (for three years) journalist on The Bulletin staff,—till leaving for London in 1901. Publications: The World is Round, London, 1896; Teens, Sydney, 1897; Girls Together, Sydney, 1898; Dreams in Flower, Sydney, 1901.

M'CAY, ADAM CAIRNS (“Wyvis,” “The Pagan”); schoolmaster. Born Castlemaine, Vic., 27th December, 1874. Of Australian race; father from N. Ireland; mother English. Married, with one child. “Educated at Castlemaine and Melbourne University; graduated 1894; since 1895 running Grammar School in Castlemaine. (Prospectus on application.)”

MILLINGTON, JOSEPH FREDERIC. Born at Liverpool, Eng., 24th March, 1865; of English parentage. Married, with two children. “Educated at Elizabeth College, Guernsey, and afterwards at Wolverhampton Grammar School. Articled to the law; commenced business as solicitor in London. Came to Australia in 1895; went prospecting and gained bush experience. In Maoriland for a year; then returned to Australia and engaged in journalism. In Brisbane started and owned a war newspaper (1900) which ran one month.”




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MONTCOMERY, ALEXANDER ESME DE LORGES (“Montalex,” “Sardonyx,” “Heretic”); journalist. Married, with one child. “Born 1847, near historic Londonderry. Father, of French stock, originally Scottish. Mother, of an Anglo-Irish ‘Plantation’ family, but maternal grandmother Spanish. Montgomery was intended for the Diplomatic Service. Didn't relish the prospect, so went to sea ‘on his own.’ Visited numerous parts of the world, and remained ‘a rolling stone’ till '70 found him in Melbourne. Was several years on the Melbourne press; then went to Singapore, and drifted gradually down the Malay Archipelago. Arrived in Sydney from Java in '84. Was some time on The Evening News, then bushed it for a couple of years with surveyors' parties. Returning to Sydney, was on The Echo till its death. Then became a frequent Bulletin contributor, and, finally, a member of the staff.” Publications: Five-Skull Island and other Tales of the Malay Archipelago, Melbourne, 1897; The Sword of a Sin, Melbourne, 1898.

NORRIS, FRANK MARRYAT; agent, newspaper correspondent, etc. Born Charmouth, Devonshire. Eng., 18th April, 1861; of English parentage (mother the daughter of Captain Marryat, the novelist). Married. “Educated on board training ship Conway in England. Failing to pass examination for Royal Navy, entered Newcastle Marine. Served some years before mast and as third mate.”

PATERSON, ANDREW BARTON (“The Banjo”); solicitor. Born at Narrambla, near Molong, N.S.W., 17th February, 1864; father Scottish, mother Australian. Unmarried. Publication; The Man from Snowy River, and Other Verses, Sydney, 1895.

POYNTON, JOSEPH JAMES (“Dargo”); railway clerk. Born. Illabarook, Vic., 7th May, 1870. Of Australian race; father English, mother from N. Ireland. Unmarried.

QUINN, RODERIC JOSEPH: literary writer. Born at Sydney, 28th November, 1869; of Irish parentage. Unmarried. Educated in Sydney till 16; studied law irregularly for three years, then became State school teacher in charge of provisional school at Milbrulong, N.S.W., Riverina district, for a few months. Since resident in Sydney. Publications: Mostyn Stayne (romance) Melbourne, 1897; The Hidden Tide (verse), Sydney, 1899; The Circling Hearths (verse), Sydney, 1901.

ROLLETT FREDERICK (“Warrigal,” “Mahara,” “Mr. Simple,” “F.R.”, “The Wake”); journalist. Born at Thorne, Yorkshire, Eng., 22nd August, 1861. Of English Saxon and Norman race, yeoman class. Unmarried. “Educated at Brook's Grammar School. Thorne; reader of romance and adventure, eager for travel; wrote bushels of poetry never sent for publication. Left school at eighteen; travelled in Northern Sweden, Russian Finland, and India; returned to England, but could n't settle down. Came to Australia and went gold-mining and opal-hunting; was at Mount Browne in 1880–81. Knocked about Australia for three


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years; crossed to Maoriland, and have been there (with an interlude at Mildura) ever since—mostly engaged in journalism. Went to Samoa as war correspondent for the Auckland Herald. Life has been too physically active for mental effort, but have gathered immense stores of material for use some day.” President of the New Zealand Literary and Historical Association, 1901.

SORENSON, EDWARD SYLVESTER (“Werrimee”). Born near Casino, N.S.W., 24th September, 1869; father Norse, mother (Australian) of Irish parentage. Married, with one child. “Was cowboy on Wooroowoolgen, N.S.W., at eight. Left home at nine to live with farmer at Tomki, N.S.W.; attended Greenridge Public School between corn-planting and corn-pulling time—if there was no chipping to do. All hoe work. (Husking till 12 o'clock at night). At 14 apprenticed to a carpenter, Casino, served two years; 16, stockriding on Wooroowoolgen; 18–19 farming and dairying on Clarence River; 20, on a selection, Myrtle Creek, N.S.W., building, fencing, stockriding, bullock-driving; 21–23, driving milk-cart in Casino, and gardening between times; 24, droving; 25, head man, Tomki butter factory; 1895, came to Sydney, thence to Brisbane, and thence ‘humped bluey’ over hundreds of miles of Queensland bush. Last two months droving. 1896, droving, gold-digging, rouseabouting. 1897–99, general handy man Stony Desert stations, shearing, wool-classing, engine-driving, carpentering, painting, boundary-riding, book-keeping. 1900–01, publican, Tibooburra, N.S.W. 1901, principally travelling, South Australia. Victoria and N.S.W.”

SOUTER, CHARLES HENRY (“Nil”); doctor of medicine. Born at Aberdeen Scotland, 11th October, 1864; father English, mother Scottish. “Childhood passed in Aberdeen, Birmingham, and London. Left school at 14, and came with family to Australia. (There was not then visible any glimmering of the burst of poetical fire which has since rent my being.) Voyaged to this land per full-rigged ship City of Corinth, to Sydney direct with general cargo; 100 days out. Then three years' wild freedom (I had passed the College of Surgeons' prelim. before leaving England) with a horse, a revolver, and a kangaroo-dog, etc., on the head waters of the Castlereagh. A gorgeous and halcyon period indeed. In 1882 went to the ‘Grahnit Ceety’ to start medicine. Came out with a degree and a wife in 1887; then followed three years in the Never-Never in charge of a hospital. A daughter born and a wife lost;—restlessness;—ship's surgeon to China ports and back; and now for ten years lodge-surgeon and J.P. in South Australia. Again a husband and father; ‘dropping into poetry’ like Wegg—and occasionally into prose.”

WATSON, JOHN REAY; clerk. Born at Tinonee, N.S.W., 23rd May. 1872; of Scottish parentage. Unmarried. Publications: In a Man's Mind, London, 1896; An Earthly Fulfilment, London, 1899.

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