Hector A. StuartHector A. Stuarti(A358 works by)
H. A. S.)
Also writes as: Caliban Born:Established:Illawarra,South Coast,New South Wales,;Died:Ceased:1912Drummoyne,Drummoyne - Concord area,Sydney Inner West,Sydney,New South Wales,
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Born in Australia and taken to New Zealand at an early age, Stuart left Auckland with his parents for California in 1850. He studied at the Collegiate Institute in Benicia, California, witnessing and recording the gold rush in his poetry. Forced to leave school when his father died, he sailed to the South Seas, and on his return published two volumes of verse - Ben Nebo (1871) and Nat Zoan (1876), gaining him the title of 'The South Sea Bard'. He fought for the liberal cause in Mexico, and wrote of his battlefield experiences in verse. Stuart continued to follow both sides of the family's military tradition, later serving in the Union army in the American Civil War. He wrote the words for the anthem dedicated to General Ulysses S. Grant, He comes, lo, triumphant! (1879), and other songs, interestingly in Italian and English, as was the fashion at the time.
Contributing as 'Caliban', mainly to the San Francisco newspaper Sunday Mercury, his often satirical prose and poetry gained him a reputation which was enhanced by his acceptance in other publications such as London Society and North Pacific Review.
When his mother, who was also a poet, and daughter of the writer Sophia Crowther, died in 1883, he returned to Australia. Stuart produced and often published broadsheets and leaflets of verses, such as Australia to Columbia (1908) and Australian Lyrics (190-?). These were usually quite nationalistic, as he was writing them at the time of Federation. He had begun an epic poem on the life of Christ in 1886 (mentioned in E. W. Foxall's introduction to South Sea Dreamer) but it has not been traced, possibly because it was never published.