Henry Lawson (1867–1922) was a writer and poet, who was known as the “Poet of the People”. His writing was distinctly Australian, with stories, characters and language that reflected various aspects of Australian life and identity. Lawson is an important figure in Australia’s early literary culture. He is best remembered and acclaimed for his short stories, though he did also publish many poems, including the notable “Andy’s Gone with Cattle” and “Faces in the Street”.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the writer’s birth, Australia Post has released two specially designed stamps that are highly recommended to our readers by StampNews.com.
Lawson wrote in a straight-forward style, using direct language, short sentences and the distinctly accented dialogue of his characters to convey his carefully constructed tales. His stories evoke rich imagery, and while they are often sardonic and humorous in tone, many also possess a sombre or reflective quality.
The stamps and minisheet, by Australian illustrators Jamie and Leanne Tufrey, depict two pieces of Lawson’s short fiction: the very well-known “The Drover’s Wife” and the lesser known “Mitchell: a Character Sketch”. Jamie has illustrated several stamp issues for Australia Post, including Air Force Aviation in 2011. Jamie and Leanne also illustrated the Bush Ballads stamp issue (2013), which focused on the work of Banjo Paterson.
The stories are conveyed in the stamp designs through emblematic scenes from each story. The imagery in the minisheet relates to the imaginative life of Henry Lawson and also references his unfortunate deafness, acquired during childhood.