Marcus Clarke, 1846-1881

Portrait

Biographical note

Novelist, born in London, the son of a barrister. After a somewhat wild youth he went to Australia where, after more than one failure to achieve success in business, he took to journalism on the staff of the Melbourne Argus, with brilliant results. He wrote two novels, Long Odds and For the Term of his Natural Life [1874], the latter, which is generally considered his masterpiece, dealing in a powerful and realistic manner with transportation and convict labour. He also wrote many short tales and dramatic pieces. After a turbulent and improvident life he died at 35. In addition to the works above mentioned, he wrote Lower Bohemia in Melbourne, The Humbug Papers, The Future Australian Race. As a writer he was keen, brilliant, and bitter.

[From A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature by John W. Cousin, 1910]

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