City bushman: Henry Lawson and the Australian imagination

Lee, Christopher (2004) City bushman: Henry Lawson and the Australian imagination. Curtin University Books, Freemantle, Western Australia. ISBN 1 920731 70 9


Henry Lawson continues to be invoked as an authentic representative of the Australian spirit. In times and places both remote and present people have felt drawn to his writing while others railed against him.

Prime Minister Billy Hughes said he was 'part of the national life of the people' and threw him a State funeral, but Jack Lang thought this fuss about 'a down-and-out scribbler' rang 'hollow'. Sydney's Telegraph wanted a Lawson monument of Statue of Liberty proportions. A special issue of the School Magazine featured his work, while warning of the dangers of alcoholism. During the Cold War the communists claimed him as their own, and Frank Hardy was convinced of a mystical psychic bond. More recently, Paul Kelly called Lawson a romantic and a racist and linked him to Pauline Hanson.

Chris Lee maps the route of Lawson's celebrity - the variety of uses to which his name and reputation have been put. He identifies a pervasive tension between the popular and the cultured, the amateur and the professional, the local and metropolitan. While Australians call upon Henry Lawson in the name of a united nation, those calls have always been troubled by social, cultural and political disagreements.

City Bushman is an original, sharp-eyed and sympathetic study of a lively Australian legend.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 5410
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Book (Commonwealth Reporting Category A)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher's copyright restrictions. 1 at Fraser Coast Campus at call no. 828.912 Law/Lee.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Arts - Department of Humanities and International Studies
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2009 00:29
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2016 02:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: Henry Lawson; Australian poets; poets; Australia
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2005 Literary Studies > 200502 Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only