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On the Track   By: (1867-1922)

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On the Track by Henry Lawson is a compelling collection of stories and sketches that vividly bring to life the harsh realities of the Australian outback and the struggles faced by those who dwell in its unforgiving terrains. Lawson's masterful storytelling transports readers to the rugged bushlands, where characters battle against loneliness, poverty, and the relentless forces of nature.

One of the most striking aspects of Lawson's writing is his ability to capture the essence of Australian outback life in his descriptions. Through his evocative prose, readers can almost taste the dust in the air, feel the scorching sun on their skin, and hear the whistling winds that sweep across the desolate plains. These vivid details immerse readers in the unforgiving landscapes and allow them to experience the hardships that his characters endure.

The stories featured in On the Track delve into the lives of people from all walks of life, from bushmen and drovers to swagmen and miners. Lawson presents a diverse range of characters, each battling their own personal demons and yearning for a better life. Whether it is a swagman longing for human connection or a miner struggling to find gold in a remote outpost, Lawson's characters are deeply relatable and evoke genuine empathy.

Furthermore, Lawson's stories shed light on the social and economic issues prevalent at the time. The stark contrast between the haves and the have-nots, the rich and the poor, is a recurring theme throughout the collection. By focusing on the struggles of the working class, Lawson highlights the immense disparity within Australian society and amplifies the need for social reform.

While On the Track primarily focuses on the harsh realities of outback life, Lawson also infuses his narratives with moments of unexpected tenderness and profound insight into the human condition. From the bonds of friendship and the longing for love to the resilience of the human spirit, Lawson's stories capture the triumphs, tragedies, and eternal hopes that define us all.

Overall, On the Track is an extraordinary collection that showcases Henry Lawson's remarkable ability to capture the essence of the Australian outback and the human spirit. With its evocative descriptions, compelling characters, and thought-provoking themes, this book stands as a timeless masterpiece in Australian literature. Whether you are a fan of Australian literature or simply appreciate well-crafted stories that resonate with our shared humanity, On the Track is a must-read.

First Page:


by Henry Lawson

Author of "While the Billy Boils", and "When the World was Wide"

[Note on text: Italicized words or phrases are CAPITALISED. Some obvious errors have been corrected after being confirmed.]


Of the stories in this volume many have already appeared in (various periodicals), while several now appear in print for the first time.

H. L. Sydney, March 17th, 1900.


The Songs They used to Sing A Vision of Sandy Blight Andy Page's Rival The Iron Bark Chip "Middleton's Peter" The Mystery of Dave Regan Mitchell on Matrimony Mitchell on Women No Place for a Woman Mitchell's Jobs Bill, the Ventriloquial Rooster Bush Cats Meeting Old Mates Two Larrikins Mr. Smellingscheck "A Rough Shed" Payable Gold An Oversight of Steelman's How Steelman told his Story


The Songs They used to Sing

On the diggings up to twenty odd years ago and as far back as I can remember on Lambing Flat, the Pipe Clays, Gulgong, Home Rule, and so through the roaring list; in bark huts, tents, public houses, sly grog shanties, and well, the most glorious voice of all belonged to a bad girl... Continue reading book >>

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