This Day in History ( June 17 )

Henry Lawson, one of Australia's best known writers, was born today in 1867. 

Name: Henry Archibald Hertzberg Lawson
Birth: June 17, 1867
Death: September 2, 1922
Occupation: Author, Poet, Bard.

Henry Lawson : A Life
Henry Lawson was born on the Grenfell goldfields in New South Wales. He became one of Australia's best-known fiction writers of the colonial period. Most of his works dwelt on the Australian bush, accurately depicting the difficult conditions of life on dry, dusty outback stations and in bush towns. Unlike his contemporary, A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson, he did not romanticise life in the bush, and any humour he displayed tended to be dry and sardonic, rather than like Paterson's larrikin wit.

Yarns as read by Jack Thompson
Lawson gained a loyal following when the Bulletin started to publish his stories and poems in 1888. However, he never really recovered from his childhood hardships and rejection by his peers, and in his later years became an alcoholic. He died at home alone on September 2, 1922. Thousands of citizens who had come to relate to his writing also paid their respects at his funeral.

Lawson had attended school at Eurunderee from October 2, 1876 but suffered an ear infection at around this time. It left him with partial deafness and by the age of fourteen he had lost his hearing entirely.  Lawson's most successful prose collection is While the Billy Boils, published in 1896.  

Commemorative stamp

Elder writes that ‘he used short, sharp sentences, with language as raw as Ernest Hemingway or Raymond Carver. With sparse adjectives and honed-to-the-bone description, Lawson created a style and defined Australians: dryly laconic, passionately egalitarian and deeply humane.’  Most of his work focuses on the Australian bush, such as the desolate Past Carin' (below), and is considered by some to be among the first accurate descriptions of Australian life as it was at the time. Lawson was the first person to be granted a New South Wales state funeral (traditionally reserved for Governors, Chief Justices, etc.) on the grounds of having been a 'distinguished citizen'.                                                                                                  
                                                                            Past Carin'
For the kids - The loaded dog!
Now up and down the siding brown 
The great black crows are flyin', 
And down below the spur, I know,
Another`milker's' dyin'; 
The crops have withered from the ground,
The tank's clay bed is glarin', 
But from my heart no tear nor sound,
For I have gone past carin' -- 
Past worryin' or carin',
Past feelin' aught or carin';