- 17 June 1867
Grenfell, New South Wales, Australia
- 2 September 1922
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Lawson was born in Grenfell, New South Wales, growing up on his parents' selection often under difficult circumstances. His parents later separated and in 1883 Lawson joined his mother Louisa in Sydney and became influenced by her commitment to the republican movement. His first poem, 'A Song of the Republic', was published in the Bulletin in October 1887. In 1892, the Bulletin commissioned Lawson to travel to Bourke; although the trip was a brief one, it heavily influenced his short stories, including 'The Bush Undertaker'. Louisa published his early collection, Short Stories in Prose and Verse (1894). Lawson's best-known work - While the Billy Boils - was published by Angus and Robertson in 1896 and was soon regarded as an Australian classic. He married Berthe Bredt the same year and they travelled to New Zealand and England together, but returning to Sydney in 1902 the couple separated. Lawson's later life was plagued by ongoing financial debt, alcoholism and mental illness.