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Work(s) of Banjo Paterson


This listing contains work(s) of Banjo Paterson available for reading. Click on a book title's link below to select a book to read online.

[Biography of Banjo Paterson]
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Biography of Banjo Paterson [Top]

Andrew Barton Paterson was born at Narambla, in New South Wales, on 17 February 1864, but grew up at Buckenbah and Illalong. He became a lawyer but devoted much of his time to writing, and gained popularity especially for his poetry and ballads. His best known poems are The Man from Snowy River (1892) on which a motion picture was loosely based, and Waltzing Matilda (1895) which slowly became an Australian symbol and national song. The poems he wrote for a Sydney newspaper led him into reporting, and he went to South Africa to cover the Boer War. Always a fair man, he had his doubts about the war and was a little too vocal about it for the tastes of some of his readers. During the First World War he served in Egypt as a Major in a Remount Unit, training horses for the war. This fit one of his main interests in life -- horses --a preoccupation which is very evident in his poems, and even in his choice of pseudonym --"The Banjo" was a race-horse.

The works for which Paterson is famous were mostly written before the First World War, and are collected in three books of poems, The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses (1895), Rio Grande's Last Race and Other Verses (1902), and Saltbush Bill, J.P. and Other Verses (1917). His prose works include An Outback Marriage (1906), and Three Elephant Power and Other Stories (1917), the latter of which is a collection of tall tales and serious (but often humourous) reporting. In fact, above all else it is perhaps Paterson's sense of humour that sets him apart from such balladists as Rudyard Kipling and Robert Service. It should also be noted that Paterson was writing his ballads before either of these became well-known, and there was little, if any, influence from either side. More likely, Paterson was influenced by the Scottish tradition of poetry (Paterson was of Scottish descent) which had been popularized in Australia by Adam Lindsay Gordon and others. Banjo Paterson died of a heart attack on 5 February, 1941.

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