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Title: The Authentic Early Depiction of Donahs and Larrikins by Edward G. Dyson
Contributor(s): Ryan, John S (author)
Publication Date: 1989
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Abstract: "The people here presented ... I claim ... are true types of a pronounced Australian class not previously exploited for the purposes of the maker of popular fiction." --Edward Dyson, 'A Foreward' to "Fact'ry 'Ands" (1912 edition, p. ix). "Edward Dyson was the creator of the larrikin type which Stone was to develop and Dennis to sentimentalize." --H.M. Green, 'A History of Australian Literature', Vol. I (1961), p. 573. Most readers of Australian short story collections will be familiar with the name of Edward George Dyson (1865-1931), and with his industrial tales, not least for the many quotations from "Fact'ry 'Ands" which appear in volumes II, III and IV of 'The Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary' or in the two editions of G.A. Wilkes (ed.), 'A Dictionary of Australian Colloquialisms' (1978 and 1985). As a fairly recent study by Judith A. Woodward has shown very clearly, the larrikin had started to appear in Melbourne-set literature as early as the l870s in Julian Thomas's 'The Vagabond Papers' (1876-77), the latter text presenting "critical vignettes of urban life in mid-nineteenth century Melbourne". Yet it was soon the case that - under the influence of both overseas traditions and the nationalist mood of the 'Bulletin' and of its cult of the bush - there was depicted a literary unease about the city life of Victoria, as in 'The Mystery of the Hansom Cab' (1886) by Fergus Hume. This preference for the folk culture of the bush and the accompanying popularity of the colonial ballad are well represented by Edward Dyson's early work, 'Rhymes from the Mines and Other Lines' (1896), the easy verses being on bush topics and relating to the mining life which he knew first hand from his father's life as a mining engineer on such fields as that of Ballarat.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: MARGIN: Monash Australian Research Group Informal Notes (21), p. 21-31
Publisher: Monash University
Place of Publication: Melbourne, Australia
ISSN: 0314-6782
Field of Research (FOR): 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
190404 Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
190499 Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: C2 Non-Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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