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E. S. Emerson was educated at Nell's School, Carlton, Melbourne. He joined the Brisbane Courier and served as a sub-editor. Emerson also did freelance writing for the Sydney Bulletin, the Lone Hand, the Sydney Mail and other journals. From August to November 1909 he edited the Port Denison Timesbefore moving to Perth where he edited the West Australian Worker. His father was a first cousin of Ralph Waldo Emerson.