A. B. Paterson - Life Stories, Books, and Links
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A. B. Paterson   (1864 - 1941)
Category:  Australian Literature
Born:  February 17, 1864
Narambla, New South Wales, Australia
Died:  February 5, 1941
Related authors:
Peter Carey
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A. B. Paterson - LIFE STORIES
2/17/1864     Paterson's "Waltzing Matilda"
On this day in 1864 A.B. ("Banjo") Paterson, the Australian bush poet who wrote "Waltzing Matilda," was born in New South Wales. The story of the creation of Australia's unofficial national anthem is an engaging one, a convergence of history, politics, biography, etymology and irony that begins with the 1894 Sheep-Shearers' Strike and unravels in all directions.
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Bush Ballads, Poems, Stories and Journalism
anthology, poetry, fiction, essays
Complete Poems
anthology, poetry
The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses
anthology, poetry
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The Banjo of the Bush: The Life and Times of A. B. Banjo Paterson
by Clement Semmler
Waltzing Matilda
by A.B. Paterson, Desmond Digby (Illustrator)
children, poetry
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Australian Literature Gateway
A large subscription-based sevice offers a comprehensive, searchable index of electronic texts and resources about Australian writers.
The Bushrangers Site
This useful resource for students explains who the bushrangers were and how the outlaws lived. A frequently asked questions section answers common inquiries about the effect of the gold rush on bushranging and profiles of such well-known figures and groups as Dan Kelly (the Kelly Gang), John Peisley, Flash Dan Charters, Frank McCallum (Captain Melville), John Donohoe (Wild Colonial Boy), and the Thunderbolt's Gang. The website also includes several poems written about the Bushrangers, including Paterson's "How Gilbert Died." In response to the question, "were the Bushrangers criminals?":

"Yes. Robbery Under Arms meant just that -- firearms were involved and eventually they began to be used, by the bushrangers, by the police and by civilians determined to resist. Other crimes included murder -- including of women and children, attempted murder, shooting, kidnapping, cannibalism, stabbing, hanging, rape, flogging, arson, assault with a deadly weapon, bank and store robbery, invasion of homes, horse and cattle theft and a wide range of other lesser villainy, including the robbing of church poor boxes and children's money boxes. Hardly the stuff of heroism. ... Even bushrangers weren't safe from each other. Goods and clothing were stolen, far beyond the gangs‚ immediate needs. This was distributed among their families, friends, harbourers and the telegraphs and cockatoos upon whom they relied for information about matters such as the movements of police parties."
The Works of Banjo Paterson
This webite offers a large collection of electronic texts, including poetry, prose, and stories from Paterson's days as a journalist and war correspondent. Includes the writer's reflections on Winston Churchill, Rudyard Kipling, Lord Allenby, Sir Alfred Milner, and others, and poems from The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses (1895), Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses (1902), Saltbush Bill, J.P., and Other Verses (1917) The Animals Noah Forgot (1933), and Old Bush Songs, an anthology of Bush poetry edited by Paterson. A biography is also provided, as well as the author's own reflections, as published in the Sydney Morning Herald in 1939. Highly recommended.

"The Banjo left a valuable heritage. His love for the bush and the colourful characters you met there meant that his writing was sympathetic to the landscape and its people. He created enduring myths, not least being Waltzing Matilda, which is one of the most recognisable Australian songs known world-wide. His depiction of the resourcefulness of the bushmen, is written with a true knowledge of the bush and its people, and with a real sense of the humour that permeated life in rural Australia and the racetracks."
Waltzing Matilda
Find a detailed review of Australia's unofficial national anthem. Find information about the song's history and evolution, three different versions of lyrics and an explanation of their meaning, audio recordings, images, and other materials providing background and context.
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March 17, 2018
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