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Edward George Dyson

1865 - 1931

Australian poet

Edward George Dyson was born at Morrisons near Ballarat in March 1865. His father, George Dyson, arrived in Australia in 1852 and after working on various diggings became a mining engineer, his mother came from a life of refinement in England. The family led a roving life during Dyson's childhood, moving successively to Alfredton, Bendigo, Ballarat and Alfredton again.

Unconsciously the boy was storing for future use the life of the miners, farmers and bushmen, among whom he lived. At 12 he

began to work as an assistant to a travelling draper, after that was a whimboy in a mine, and for two or three years an assistant in a factory at Melbourne. This was followed by work in a newspaper office.

At 19 he began writing verse, and a few years later embarked on a life of free-lance journalism which lasted until his death. His first notable work was "The Golden Shanty", which appeared in the Bulletin, and many other short stories followed. In 1896 he published a volume of poems, Rhymes from the Mines, and in 1898 the first collection of his short stories, Below and On Top. In 1901 his first long story The Gold-stealers was published in London, which was followed by In the Roaring Fifties in 1906. In the same year appeared Fact'ry 'Ands, a series of more or less connected sketches dealing with factory life in Melbourne in a vein of humour. Various other stories and collections of stories were published in the Bookstall Series and will be found listed in Miller's Australian Literature. Another volume of verse Hello, Soldier! appeared in 1919.

All through the years Dyson did an enormous amount of work until he broke down under the strain and died after a long illness on 22 August 1931. He married Miss Jackson who survived him with one daughter.

Dictionary of Australian Biography, Angus and Robertson, 1949

Dyson's works include:

  • Novels
    1906  In the Roaring Fifties
    1908  The Missing Link
    1911  Tommy the Hawker and Snifter His Boy
    1914  Loves of Lancelot
    1919  The Escapades of Ann
  • Short Story Collections
    1898  Below and On Top
    1906  Fact'ry 'Ands
    1911  Benno and Some of the Push: Being Further "Fact'ry 'Ands" Stories
    1911  The Golden Shanty
    1914  Spats' Fact'ry: More Fact'ry 'Ands
  • Poetry Collections
    1896  Rhymes from the Mines, and other Lines
    1919  Hello, Soldier!

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