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Farjeon, Benjamin Leopold (1838 - 1903)


12 May 1838
London, England
23 July 1903
London, England


Farjeon was born in London, the second son of a poor Orthodox Jewish family, and grew up in Whitechapel. He received no formal secular education, but at fourteen began training as a printer at a newspaper office. He came to Australia in 1854 and spent seven years on the goldfields, and then left to settle in New Zealand, where he established a successful literary career, before ultimately returning to England in 1868. Farjeon produced countless popular novels, many with mystery and adventure themes that drew on his colonial experiences, as well as plays, burlesques, short fiction and journalism. Grif: A Story of Australian Life (1866) was the most popular of his novels set in Australia. Originally published in New Zealand, it was later dramatised for the theatre and also reprinted in Australia, America and London several times.

Published resources


  • Farjeon, B. L., The sacred nugget : a novel, Hutchinson, London, 1907, 169 pp. Details
  • Farjeon, Benjamin Leopold, Grif : a story of colonial life, William Hay, Dunedin, 1866, 253 pp. Details

Short Stories

  • Farjeon, B. L., 'In Australian Wilds', in Mennell, Philip (ed.), In Australian wilds, and other colonial tales and sketches, Hutchinson, London, 1889, pp. 12-48. Details

Rachael Weaver