George Gordon McCrae
Biography of George Gordon McCrae
George Gordon McCrae was an Australian poet.
McCrae was born in Leith, Scotland; his father was Andrew Murison McCrae, a writer; his mother was Georgiana McCrae, a painter. George attended a preparatory school in London, and later received lessons from his mother. Georgiana and her four sons emigrated to Melbourne in 1841 following her husband who emigrated in 1839.
After a few years as a surveyor, McCrae joined the Victorian Government service, eventually becoming Deputy Registrar-General, and also a prominent figure in literary circles. Most of his leisure time was spent in writing. His first published work was Two Old Men's Tales of Love and War (London, 1865).
His son Hugh McCrae also a poet, produced a volume of memoirs (My Father and My Father's Friends) about George and his association with such literary figures as Henry Kendall, Adam Lindsay Gordon, Richard Henry Horne and Marcus Clarke.
George McCrae wrote novels, stories, poetry, and travel sketches, and illustrated books. After his retirement, unpublished manuscripts entitled 'Reminiscences—Experiences not Exploits' contain detailed descriptions of events from his youth and present a record of the early European part of Melbourne country-side.
McCrae died 15 August 1927 at Hawthorn in Melbourne, survived by four of his six children, including Dorothy Frances Perry, also an author.
George Gordon McCrae's Works:
The Story of Balladeadro (1867)
Mamba, the Bright-Eyed: an Aboriginal Reminiscence (1867)
The Man in the Iron Mask (1873)
The Fleet and Convoy (1915)
John Rous (1918)
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Life’s a Cigar
‘Life’s a cigar’: the wasting body glows;
The head turns white as Kosciusko’s snows;
And, with the last soul-fragrance still in air,
The ashes slowly sink in soft repose.