- 13 August 1855
- 5 October 1911
Rockwood, New South Wales, Australia
- Alternative Names
- Price Warung (pseudonym)
Astley was born in Liverpool, his family emigrating to Melbourne in 1859. He worked as a journalist, travelling around the south-east of Australia and finally settling in Sydney in 1891 with his wife Louisa, after having worked for many years on a wide range of provincial newspapers. His reputation as a radical pro-Federation, pro-Labor journalist grew in the 1890s, which is when he also began to publish convict stories in the Bulletin - sustained and often heavily satirical critiques of the colonial administrative system. The Bulletin published some of these stories separately, as Tales of the Convict System (1892) and Tales of the Early Days (1892). Later, George Robertson published Tales of the Old Regime (1897) and Half-Crown Bob and Tales of the Riverine (1898), as well as the novel, Convict Hendy (1898). His health and finances failing during the later 1890s, Astley became addicted to morphia and increasingly reclusive. He died in the Rookwood Benevolent Asylum.