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  • Title
    Autograph letter signed by Henry Lawson, from Darlinghurst Gaol, to Bland Holt, asking for financial help, April 4th, 1905
  • Creator
  • Call number
    MLMSS 8105
  • Level of description
  • Date

  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Physical Description
    0.02 metres of textual material (1 folder)

    Henry Lawson (1867-1922), short story writer and balladist, was born on 17 June 1867 at Grenfell, New South Wales, eldest of four surviving children of Niels Hertzberg (Peter) Larsen, Norwegian-born miner, and his wife Louisa, née Albury.

    Inspired by his mother's republican friends, his first published poem, 'A Song of the Republic' appeared in the Bulletin in 1887. His first published short story, 'His Father's Mate', appeared shortly after his father's death. He began working as a journalist, writing articles for the 'Republican' as well as publishing verse. In 1891 Lawson was hired by the Brisbane publication the 'Boomerang', contributing prose and verse, as well as writing for the 'Worker'. However the 'Boomerang' ran into trouble and Lawson was let go. He then divided his time between odd jobs, writing and carousing.

    Lawson married Bertha McNamara in 1896. Returning from a trip to the Western Australian goldfields, Lawson began drinking heavily in the company of his friends and Bertha moved to New Zealand to try to remove Lawson from their influence. However when Bertha fell pregnant they returned to Sydney and Lawson returned to his old friends and habits.
    Lawson became obssessed with wanting to write in England and, sponsored by Earl Beauchamp, he finally took his family to England in 1900. However the climate and ill health forced the family to return to Sydney in 1902.
    Lawson entered a decline. His marriage broke-up, he drank heavily and attempted suicide. He was gaoled for failing to pay maintenance and spent time in mental hospitals. Although he was writing, his worked suffered and critics accused him of maudalin sentimentality. His state of mind, physical condition and alcoholism continued to worsen and he died of cerebral haemorrhage at Abbotsford on 2 September 1922.

    Australian Dictionary of Biography http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lawson-henry-7118 (accessed October 20th 2011)
    Births Deaths and Marriages http://www.bdm.nsw.gov.au/familyHistory/lawson.htm (accessed October 20th 2011)
  • Scope and Content
    Letter is dated April 4th 1905 and is from 'Prisoner 136, Henry Lawson'. He asks Bland Holt for the sum of £6.12.0 for "maintenance" and states that he is "very ill".
  • Copying Conditions
    Copyright status:: In copyright
    Research & study copies allowed: Author has been deceased for more than 50 years
  • General note

    Digital order no:Album ID : 991185
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  • Name
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  • Place
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