The Friendship that Sustained Henry Lawson

More Information
By Dr Gregory Bryan
Format Paperback / softback
Page Extent 400
Book Size 42 x 153 x 235 mm (H x W x D)
Imprint New Holland Publishers
Release Date 1 May 2017
Subject Classification Biography: general / Biography: literary

Henry Lawson gave voice to a uniquely Australian identity and much of the Australian ethos of mateship was developed in his writing. Lawson authority Gregory Bryan has written a fascinating dual biography of Henry Lawson and his great mate and fellow writer, Jim Gordon (who wrote as Jim Grahame). Lawson first met Jim Gordon in Bourke in 1892 and despite being separated for more than 20 years they remained best friends until Lawson’s death in 1922. While Jim Gordon was a well-known, published poet during his lifetime, only Lawson achieved a lasting fame – despite Lawson believing that Gordon’s writing was superior to his own. Jim Gordon sustained Lawson through his darkest struggles and without Gordon, Lawson may not have been so passionate about the Australian ideal of looking after, sticking up for and standing by one’s mates. Mates is the story of two remarkable lives and an enduring mateship. Although born seven years and almost 700 km apart, the lives of Henry Lawson and Jim Gordon would intersect in ways that fostered a unique, intimate friendship. That friendship would spawn an ethos that endures long after both men were buried within the Australian soil each so much loved. And could I roll the summers back, or bring the dead time on again; Or from the grave or world-wide track, call back to Bourke the vanished men, With mind content I’d go to sleep, and leave those mates to judge me true, And leave my name to Bourke to keep— the Bourke of Ninety-one and two.

Dr Gregory Bryan

Dr. Gregory Bryan spreads his time between Canada, where he is a professor in a Faculty of Education at one of the country's leading universities, and his homeland, Australia, where he is an enthusiastic patriot.

Together with his brother, Barrie, in January 2011 Gregory Bryan became the first person ever to recreate Henry Lawson's 1893 450km walk from Bourke to Hungerford and back.

Despite declaring that he not only never wanted to walk in the Outback again but that he never wanted to see the Outback again, in July 2012, Gregory Bryan returned to Bourke with his brother. This time they became the first people ever to recreate Lawson's 1892 300km walk from Bourke to Toorale shearing shed and back.