Sydney Elliott Napier

(25 December 1870 - 3 May 1940 / Sydney / New South Wales / Australia)

Biography of Sydney Elliott Napier

Sydney Napier Elliott was an Australian writer and poet


Napier was born in Sydney, New South Wales and educated at Newington College and Sydney University.

He began his working life as a bank clerk with the AJS Bank in Burwood, New South Wales. From 1893 he was a jackeroo in Manilla, New South Wales, until he was articled to a solicitor in Tamworth in 1894. After 1899 he worked as a solicitor in Sydney.

During World War I, Napier served with the 41st Battalion of the AIF as a sergeant.

In 1925, Napier joined the Sydney Morning Herald. He subsequently became assistant editor of The Sydney Mail and leader-writer of the Sydney Morning Herald where in 1931 he compiled, with P S Allen, A Century of Journalism: The Sydney Morning Herald and Its Record of Australian Life 1831-1931. He contributed prose and verse to numerous English and Australian journals and newspapers, and published a collection of essays, The Magic Carpet in 1932.

Sydney Elliott Napier's Works:

Underneath the bough [Sydney: Penfold, 1937]
The book of the Anzac memorial, New South Wales [Sydney, 1934]
On the Barrier Reef: Notes from a no-ologist's pocket-book [Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1928]
Walks abroad: Two Australians in the wilds of England, Scotland and Ireland [Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1933]
The Sydney Repertory Theatre : its history and significance; a criticism [Sydney : Sydney Repertory Theatre Society, 1927]
Potted biographies [Sydney : Dymocks Book Arcade, 1930]
Great lovers [Sydney : Angus & Robertson, 1934]
The genesis and growth of solicitors' associations in New South Wales:
Together with a brief history of the Incorporated Law Institute of New South Wales [Sydney: Law Book Co., 1937]
The magic carpet and other essays and adventures [Sydney : Angus & Robertson, 1932]
Walks abroad: Being the record of the experiences of two Australians in the wilds of the United Kingdom [Sydney : Angus & Robertson, 1929]
Men and cities: Being the journeyings of a journalist [Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1938]
Underneath the bough : a book of verses / by S. Elliott Napier
On the Barrier Reef : a story of Australia's coral wonderland [Sydney : Angus & Robertson, 1932]

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All Men Are Free

‘ALL men are free and equal born
Before the Law!’ So runs the worn
And specious, lying, parrot-cry.
All men are free—to starve or sigh;
But few to feed on Egypt’s corn.

There toils the sweated slave, forlorn;
There weeps the babe with hunger torn;
Dear God! Forgive us for the lie—