Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A big novel for Aussies and Aussies at heart

What's it about?

Henry Lawson's love affairs with Mary Gilmore and others.

Henry's associations with terrorists, revolutionists and anarchists.

What was Mary Gilmore doing with a future Prime Minister (Chris Watson), and with the General-Secretary of Australia's largest union (AWU) -- and a bomb?

Louisa Lawson's struggle for women's rights despite poverty and tragedy.

Henry and his brother-in-law, Jack Lang (later twice Premier of New South Wales), dodging the police.

Drought, unemployment and poverty, and Henry's 400-mile hot tramp through the Outback desert in search of work.

The Lawsons in an earthquake in New Zealand.

Henry and his wife in London. His wife Bertha in a mental asylum.

Was Lizzie Humphrey Henry's lover while he was married to Bertha?

Henry Lawson meets Mark Twain.

Henry's tragic love for the mysterious Hannah Thornburn.

Henry's criminally insane brother Charles.

Louisa's descent into pain, violence, insanity.

Foundations of the Australian Labor movement and the odd characters behind it.

Miles Franklin, Banjo Paterson, Billy Hughes (working on an anarchist journal), William Lane and scores of others.

Unusual origins of songs such as ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and ‘Dog on the Tuckerbox’.

Henry's publisher John Norton (murderer?) and friends, outrageous parliamentarians.

Henry's publisher JF Archibald, who also was committed to a mental asylum.

The struggle for Australian Federation and a republic.

New Australia: Mary Gilmore & 100s of Aussies in William Lane's South American commune.

Poverty, rejection, heartbreak; Henry's suicide attempt.

Racism and Australian opposition to immigration.

Henry's decline into alcoholism, mental asylums, prisons and death.

Much more, and plenty of Aussie humour to lighten the swag.

Read more at boilingbilly.com

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