On Day 1 of our blog launch, I'm revealing some facts you may not know about Banjo's life. It was absolutely fascinating researching this talented man, and learning more about his extraordinary life.
How many of the following facts are new to you?
- Banjo was born on 17 February 1864 at Narambla, New South Wales, and was the eldest of seven children--Rose Florence, Emily Jessie, Mary Edith, Hamilton Howison, Grace Sterling and Gwendolen Alexa. Children were often called by their second name, and this was the case with many of his sisters.
- His middle name, Barton, was his mother's maiden name. Banjo's mum, Rose, was born in Australia while his dad, Andrew Bogle Paterson, was a Scottish immigrant.
- His family called him 'Barty'.
- Banjo's grandmother, Emily Mary Barton, was an accomplished poet. When he was 10, Banjo went to live with his grandmother in Sydney (where he attended Sydney Grammar), and she was instrumental in encouraging her grandson to read and write verse.
- Another influence was a local bushman named Jerry the Rhymer. When Barty was a lad, he was fascinated by the way Jerry spoke--in rhyming slang.
- Banjo's right arm was broken as a toddler and the break went unseen until he was a little older.
- Before he left for Sydney, Banjo used to ride a pony to school!
- Banjo was a keen tennis player and an accomplished oarsman. He rode to hounds at the Sydney Hunt Club and was a fine polo player. He also rode as an amateur jockey at Rosehill and Randwick racecourses in Sydney.
- Originally, Banjo's writing nickname was The Banjo, but the article was eventually dropped and he became known as Banjo Paterson. The name Banjo came from one of his family's favourite racehorses.
- Banjo was not just a poet and author. He was also a journalist, editor, war correspondent, radio announcer, bushman, horseman, jockey, clerk, solicitor, speaker, traveller, vet, farmer and a fine sportsman. A true Renaissance man.
Stay tuned for Day 2, where I'll be revealing some internals from the book! Click here for the full list of launch posts.
Join Tania on Periscope on Friday 17 February at 1pm AEDST, where
she will be chatting about the book live from the National Library,
and showing various priceless Banjo Paterson items,
along with original artwork by Christina Booth!
And for those in or near Canberra ...
Book Launch - This is Banjo Paterson
Sunday 12 February 2017
National Library of Australia