DYSON, Edward George (1865-1931)


DYSON, Edward George (1865-1931)
miscellaneous writer and poet
was born at Morrisons near Ballarat in March 1865. His father, George Dyson, arrived in Australia in 1852 and after working on various diggings became a mining engineer, his mother came from a life of refinement in England. The family led a roving life during Dyson's childhood, moving successively to Alfredton, Bendigo, Ballarat and Alfredton again. Unconsciously the boy was storing for future use the life of the miners, farmers and bushmen, among whom he lived. At 12 he began to work as an assistant to a travelling draper, after that was a whimboy in a mine, and for two or three years an assistant in a factory at Melbourne. This was followed by work in a newspaper office. At 19 he began writing verse, and a few years later embarked on a life of free-lance journalism which lasted until his death. His first notable work was "The Golden Shanty", which appeared in the Bulletin, and many other short stories followed. In 1896 he published a volume of poems, Rhymes from the Mines, and in 1898 the first collection of his short stories, Below and On Top. In 1901 his first long story The Gold-stealers was published in London, which was followed by In the Roaring Fifties in 1906. In the same year appeared Fact'ry 'Ands, a series of more or less connected sketches dealing with factory life in Melbourne in a vein of humour. Various other stories and collections of stories were published in the Bookstall Series and will be found listed in Miller's Australian Literature. Another volume of verse Hello, Soldier! appeared in 1919. All through the years Dyson did an enormous amount of work until he broke down under the strain and died after a long illness on 22 August 1931. He married Miss Jackson who survived him with one daughter.
Dyson was an admirable workman but does not rank among the greater prose-writers of Australia. The Gold-stealers and In the Roaring Fifties are two interesting tales, and the short stories are capably written. His work has the merit that it was written out of his own experience and observation. Of his two volumes of verse the first, Rhymes from the Mines, is the better, and gives Dyson an honourable place in the ranks of Australian balladists. His brother Will Dyson is noticed separately.
E. Dyson, The Bulletin, 21 November 1912, 26 August 1931; The Argus, Melbourne, 24 August 1931.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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