Louisa Lawson’s ‘The Australian Bush-Woman’–A Source for ‘The Drover’s Wife’ and ‘Water them Geraniums’?


Louisa Lawson's important early article, 'The Australian Bush-Woman', which appeared in both the Boston Woman's Journal (27 July 1889) and in the London Englishwoman's Review (15 August 1889 and 15 October 1889) seems to have escaped the searching nets of Australian literary scholarship. The single full-length study of Louisa existing to date, Lorna Ollif's Louisa Lawson, makes no mention of it. Nor do Henry Lawson's biographers or critics refer to it in their discussions of Louisa. The article, however, deserves attention. It is interesting for its own sake, revealing an originality of observation, a facility of expression-and a vein of wit-which Henry's biographers, for example, have not always led us to expect of Louisa.4It also suggests that Louisa's writing may have had a more important influence on Henry than has been recognized, and it is this latter aspect of Louisa's article to which I will briefly direct attention here.

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Published 1 October 1982 in Volume 10 No. 4. Subjects: Literary inspiration & creativity, Henry Lawson, 19th Century Women Writers, Louisa Lawson.

Cite as: Zinkhan, Elaine J. ‘Louisa Lawson’s ‘The Australian Bush-Woman’–A Source for ‘The Drover’s Wife’ and ‘Water them Geraniums’?.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 10, no. 4, 1982, doi: 10.20314/als.bca861ab71.