Pip Wilson booksigning and talk
Bellingen author, Pip Wilson, will be signing copies of his controversial new novel, ‘Faces in the Street’ at bellaBOOKafé (7 Church St, Bellingen) on Easter Saturday, April 7, at 10am.
He will also be delivering a talk, “The women, anarchists and terrorists in Henry Lawson’s life”, at the same bookshop on Friday, March 30, at 6pm.
Pip’s 585-page historical novel, subtitled ‘Louisa and Henry Lawson and the Castlereagh Street Push’, presents an altogether different view of Australia’s most famous author and his remarkable mother, Louisa Lawson.
“Henry Lawson is often portrayed as a bushwhacking swagman, but he lived most of his adult life in Sydney and London,” said Pip. “For the first time, this novel reveals his associations with Aussie radicals, bohemians and even the odd terrorist. Also, in my research, I discovered a woman, Lizzie Humphrey, who lived with Lawson in a London flat while his wife was in a mental hospital. The book also covers Lawson’s alcoholic decline and his begging on the streets of Sydney.”
Then there is Louisa Lawson, called by other early feminists “the Mother of Women’s Sufrage”, and she plays an important role in Pip’s yarn. Henry Lawson’s association with many famous people, such as his brother-in-law, Jack Lang (later Premier of NSW), Banjo Paterson, founders of the ALP, and Mark Twain are also creatively covered.
Henry Lawson very nearly sailed with 600 others to South America to join a commune in Paraguay named New Australia, but couldn’t raise the fare on the Royal Tar, then the largest ship built in Australia – “She was built on the Nambucca River, near Bellingen,” Pip added.
“Henry Lawson’s former lover, (Dame) Mary Gilmore, did go to New Australia and when she was jilted there by Robert Louis Stevenson’s cousin, wrote back to Henry asking him to join her, but by then it was too late – Lawson had already married the daughter of two of Sydney’s most prominent left-wing radicals,” Pip said.
Pip Wilson, known to Bellingen residents as a magazine editor (‘Maggie’s Farm’ and ‘Simply Living’) and for his daily broadcasts of ‘Wilson’s Almanac Book of Days’ on Community Radio 2-BBB, has a long association with Bellingen, having first moved there in 1976.
For further information, phone Mariana Guy (proprietor, bellaBOOKafé): 0413 707 775.
Pip's novel is also available at boilingbilly.com ($AU29.95).
Tagged: henry+lawson, australia, history, poetry, bush+poetry, louisa+lawson, australian+literature, biography