Henry Lawson's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
The 146 birthday of iconic Australian author and poet, Henry Lawson is being celebrated today through a mechanism which he could not have even imagined - a Google doodle.
A 'drover', some cows and a dusty landscape accompany the Google logo and of course a click through takes internet surfers to a Google search of Henry Lawson.
Searching for Henry Lawson is an apt phrase for although achieving some literary peaks - such as in short story collection While the Billy Boils (1896), Jo Wilson and his Mates (1901) and perennial favourites ranging from The Drover's Wife to The Loaded Dog - he was as well known for being restless, erratic and unwell.
Many Australian homes will have his collected works somewhere on a bookshelf, the township of Grenfell celebrates his birth there every Queen's Birthday long weekend, and some of his work is re-told to modern audiences such as the recent theatrical performances of The Loaded Dog.
Despite the bruising tale of his life which include marriage breakdown, unemployment, illness, drunkenness and despair, he is still described often as Australia's greatest writer, such as on the Henry Lawson website:
'Henry Lawson (1867 – 1922) was an acclaimed Australian short story writer and poet. He is often referred to as the “greatest Australian writer.” Although this claim cannot be quantified and is disputable, what cannot be argued is that Lawson is the most well-known writer of Australia’s colonial period. His stories and poems are known for their candid revelations of life in the Australian bush. Among Lawson’s most celebrated works are his short story The Drover’s Wife and the poem “Andy’s Gone with Cattle.” He continues to be read in each succeeding generation and is taught in schools worldwide.'
Read more at the Australian Dictionary of Biography.