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The Rising of the Court   By: (1867-1922)

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The Rising of the Court by Henry Lawson is a captivating and poignant collection of short stories that provides a powerful glimpse into the harsh realities and struggles of everyday life in early 20th century Australia. Through his unique storytelling style, Lawson masterfully explores themes of injustice, poverty, and the pursuit of justice.

One of the most impressive aspects of this collection is Lawson's ability to immerse readers in the vibrant settings of rural Australia. The vivid descriptions of the drought-stricken landscapes, the dusty towns, and the sunburnt faces of the characters create a palpable sense of place, enabling readers to truly connect with the stories and their characters.

Moreover, Lawson skillfully crafts a cast of diverse and relatable characters, each with their own distinct voice and struggles. From the determined and resilient protagonist fighting against the injustices of the court system, to the destitute struggling to make ends meet, and the working-class individuals battling against the harsh realities of poverty, Lawson's characters leave a lasting impression, compelling readers to empathize with their plights.

The Rising of the Court also delves deep into the flawed nature of the court system, highlighting the class divisions, corruption, and questionable ethics that prevail within it. Through his portrayal of various court cases, Lawson shines a spotlight on the intrinsic power imbalances and the crushing weight of bureaucracy that often inhibit the pursuit of justice for the common man.

Lawson's writing style is raw, gritty, and immensely powerful. His use of colloquial language and realistic dialogue adds an authenticity to the stories, evoking a range of emotions from anger and frustration to hope and resilience. The author's commentary on social issues is both thought-provoking and relevant even today, as it sheds light on the struggles faced by marginalized communities and their relentless fight for justice.

While The Rising of the Court is undeniably filled with tales of hardship and adversity, there are also moments of hope and inspiration scattered throughout the collection. Lawson's ability to balance the darkness with glimmers of optimism makes this book a truly captivating and memorable read.

Overall, The Rising of the Court is a powerful and thought-provoking collection of stories that shines a light on the deep-rooted injustices within society. Henry Lawson's skillful storytelling and his ability to capture the essence of Australian life during that time period make this book a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the human condition and the pursuit of justice.

First Page:


By Henry Lawson

Note: Only the prose stories are reproduced here, not the poetry.


Oh, then tell us, Sings and Judges, where our meeting is to be, when the laws of men are nothing, and our spirits all are free when the laws of men are nothing, and no wealth can hold the fort, There'll be thirst for mighty brewers at the Rising of the Court.

The same dingy court room, deep and dim, like a well, with the clock high up on the wall, and the doors low down in it; with the bench, which, with some gilding, might be likened to a gingerbread imitation of a throne; the royal arms above it and the little witness box to one side, where so many honest poor people are bullied, insulted and laughed at by third rate blackguardly little "lawyers," and so many pitiful, pathetic and noble lies are told by pitiful sinners and disreputable heroes for a little liberty for a lost self, or for the sake of a friend of a "pal" or a "cobber." The same overworked and underpaid magistrate trying to keep his attention fixed on the same old miserable scene before him; as a weary, overworked and underpaid journalist or author strives to keep his attention fixed on his proofs. The same row of big, strong, healthy, good natured policemen trying not to grin at times; and the police court solicitors ("the place stinks with 'em," a sergeant told me) wrangling over some miserable case for a crust, and the "reporters," shabby some of them, eager to get a brutal joke for their papers out of the accumulated mass of misery before them, whether it be at the expense of the deaf, blind, or crippled man, or the alien... Continue reading book >>

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