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Frank Morton was educated at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. At the age of sixteen he moved with his family to Sydney where he worked for a short time as an engineering apprentice before sailing to Hong Kong on board the Conquerer in April 1889. Morton left the ship in Singapore where he taught at an Anglo-Chinese Methodist Mission School for a short time. He eventually found his niche in journalism while working for the Straits Times. After marrying, he travelled to India with his Calcutta-born wife, Louise Hollaway. In India he worked for several papers and was subsequently appointed sub-editor of the Englishman.
Morton returned to Australia in 1894, moving several times in the next decade while writing for the Sydney Bulletin, the Brisbane Courier and the Hobart Mercury. In 1905 he moved to Dunedin, New Zealand where he worked for the Otago Daily Times. Three years later he moved to Wellington and began his long relationship with C. N. Baeyertz's magazine Triad. Writing under a collection of pseudonyms, Morton eventually became the major contributor to the Triad. He also published a collection of verse and two novels while in Wellington: Laughter and Tears: Verses of a Journalist (1908); The Angel of the Earthquake (1909); and The Yacht of Dreams (1911).
After his return to Sydney in 1914, Morton wrote for a number of magazines before working on an Australian edition of the Triad. He remained the major contributor to the Triad for the rest of his life. In columns and reviews, he frequently attacked the 'puritanism' that he believed had become out of hand after the end of the First World War. While not always literary or artistic, Morton's topics were drawn from all of the arts and contributions were written for a general readership rather than a narrow literary or artistic audience. Nevertheless, Morton's contribution to Australian culture was widely praised by people such as J. F. Archibald and A. G. Stephens (qq.v.). During the early 1920s, Morton's home in Manly was a centre of Sydney bohemian activities.
Morton published several books in Australia, including Verses for Marjorie (1916), an erotic poem The Secret Spring (1919), and Man and the Devil: A Book of Shame and Pity (1922). The Triad was unable to continue with the same vigour after Morton's death in 1923. Sydney lost a voluble, idiosyncratic voice and a major figure in the bohemian fringe.