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Louisa Lawson Louisa Lawson i(A17384 works by) (birth name: Louisa Albury)
Also writes as: Dora Falconer ; Mrs P. H. Larsen ; Mrs Appleby
Born: Established: 17 Feb 1848 Mudgee, Mudgee area, Gulgong - Mudgee - Rylstone area, Central West NSW, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 12 Aug 1920 Gladesville, Ryde - Gladesville - Hunters Hill area, Northwest Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Female
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Louisa Lawson was born Louisa Albury near Mudgee, New South Wales, in 1848. She was educated at Mudgee National School, but was required to care for her siblings from a young age. In 1866 she married Niels "Peter" Larsen who later anglicised the family's last name. The couple's first of five children, Henry Lawson, was born in 1867. Louisa moved to Sydney with her children in 1883, following long periods of separation from her husband.

In Sydney she did sewing and washing and took in boarders to supplement the irregular funds sent by her husband. She bought the Republican in 1887 and, with Henry, she edited and wrote most of the contributions. In 1888 she started the Dawn, the first Australian periodical produced for women. Despite opposition from the New South Wales Typographical Association, which refused membership to women, Lawson's employees were predominantly women. The Dawn supported women's issues such as suffrage and equal opportunity, and also offered domestic advice.

In 1900, an injury sustained after being thrown from a tram slowed Lawson's activities. The Dawn suffered and was closed in 1905. A novel, Dert and Do, published in the 1890s, and a collection of poems, The Lonely Crossing (1905), add to the substantial output of leaders and articles Lawson wrote for the Dawn. After the closure of the Dawn she lived alone for many years before being admitted to the Gladeville Hospital for the Insane in 1918. She died there in 1920.

Louisa Lawson's life and work have been overshadowed by her famous son, but interest in her increased in the 1980s and 1990s. A selection of her Dawn leaders has been published and her life has been reassessed by several biographers. She is now widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the development of Australian feminism.

Most Referenced Works

Known archival holdings

State Library of NSW (NSW)
Last amended 26 Nov 2019 17:11:40
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