Joe Lynch, Bohemian Hero of Five Bells


Prominent among the wilder bohemians of Sydney in the 1920s was Joseph Lynch, a gifted black-and-white artist originally from New Zealand. Jack Lindsay placed him alongside Anna Brennan as a figure symbolic of the times when he wrote in his autobiography Life Rarely Tells that 'Joe in one way, and Anna in another, were the Hero, the Heroine, of Our Days'. Anna died of tuberculosis in October 1929, a victim of the 'Roaring Twenties'. Lynch died two and a half years before her in circumstances which have become famous through their evocation in Kenneth Slessor's poem 'Five Bells'.

The full text of this essay is available to ALS subscribers

Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.

Published 1 May 1988 in Volume 13 No. 3. Subjects: Coast, Death, Sydney, Urban, Writer's inspiration, Kenneth Slessor.

Cite as: Kirkpatrick, Peter. ‘Joe Lynch, Bohemian Hero of Five Bells.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 13, no. 3, 1988, doi: 10.20314/als.aad295bb3b.