Tales of the Outback

By Cal Smith

Henry Lawson began writing news and features stories for a newspaper and magazines when he was 13 years old. And quickly became the popular and prolific short story and poetry writer in Australia. However he was victimized by his publishers and spent most of his life and lived most of this life in poverty while his publishers flourished. He was usually unable to feed himself and, having been divorced, was constantly behind in child support payment.

Suffering from depression, he was in and out of mental hospitals and jail continuously for four years between 1905 and 1909. He was jailed at Darlinghurst jail for drunkenness, wife desertion, child desertion, and non-payment of child support seven times for a total of 159 days.
He died of a cerebral hemorrhage, in Abbotsford, Sydney in 1922 at the age of 55. He was the first non-governing official to be given a New South Wales state funeral on the grounds of having been a 'distinguished citizen'. Mourners from all walks of life attended the ceremony. His picture appeared on a ten dollar bill and on postage stamps.

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