• George Essex Evans poetry manuscripts

  • Diaries, travel notes, notebooks, correspondence, manuscripts, sketches, press clippings, photographs, articles featured in The Queenslander and Darling Downs Gazette and material for The Antipodeon, and biographical material. Photocopies of letters 1892 to 1906 by or about Evans, held in the Mitchell Library. There is also a scrapbook containing original sketches by Percy F.S. Spence, Frank P. Mahony, C. Roth, B.E. Minns, and E. Bevan.

    Detailed listing is available. Please contact the Fryer Library for more information.

    This document was ranked #92 in the Top 150 exhibition

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    Fryer Library, University of Queensland Library, UQFL 13, Box 2
George Essex Evans papers

Of Welsh descent, George Essex Evans was born in London in 1863. His father’s death the following year forced the family’s return to Wales where increasing deafness prevented Evans from pursuing a military career. Emigration to Queensland with his brother and two sisters followed in 1881, when the brothers began farming at Allora on the Darling Downs. After a serious riding accident Evans became in turn a teacher, surveyor’s assistant and public servant, and it was while in government service that he began his writing career. A regular contributor to leading Queensland journals, Evans published three collections of poetry between 1891 and 1906, but it was his patriotic verse which brought him to national attention. There is little doubt that his literary efforts praising Federation were instrumental in the success of the campaigns in both Queensland and Western Australia, recognition of which led Alfred Deakin to praise Evans as Australia’s ‘national poet’. His works were also well received in Britain. Evans died suddenly in 1909 from complications following a minor operation at Toowoomba, his adopted home, where a monument was erected in his memory. A collection of his works was published posthumously in 1928.


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