Andrew Barton Peterson

Andrew Barton Peterson also known as Banjo was an Australian Poet, Journalist and Author. He lived from 1864-1941. He wrote many poems about rural life in Australia. He was born in New South Wales in a commune near Orange. He received his early education at a school in Binalong. In 1874 he was enrolled at Sydney Grammar School, He left the school after failing to get admission at the University of Sydney. He worked as a law clerk in Sydney and became solicitor in 1886. His earliest work was a satirical poem criticizing the British occupation in Sudan. He started his career as a poet publishing in The Bulletin, a literary journal focused on the Australia nationalist movement . His poems was published in the journal using the pseudonym, “The Banjo”, which was the name of a horse he owned. He became friends with Lawson and wrote several poems together about the allure of bush life. He served during World War 1 as a Ambulance driver with the Australian Voluntary Hospital. On October 1915 he was commissioned into the Australian Imperial Force serving both in France and in Cairo. He was later repatriated to Australia after he was discharged from the army a little while after he attain the rank of a Major in 1919.

One of Peterson most notable poems was The Man from Snowy River which established him as a literary genius in the Bulletin. The Banjo became a very popular name among a certain class of people in the Australia society as he was able to capture the situation of rural life or more precisely bush life using the story of a missing horse in his poem The Man from Snowy Rivers.

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