Clarke, Marcus Andrew Hislop
CLARKE, MARCUS ANDREW HISLOP (1846-1881), Australian author, was born in London on the 24th of April 1846. He was the only son of William Hislop Clarke, a barrister of the Middle Temple who died in 1863. He emigrated forthwith to Australia, where his uncle, James Langton Clarke, was a county court judge. He was at first a clerk in the bank of Australasia, but showed no business ability, and soon proceeded to learn farming at a station on the Wimmera river, Victoria. He was already writing stories for the Australian Magazine, when in 1867 he joined the staff of the Melbourne Argus through the introduction of Dr Robert Lewins. He also became secretary (1872) to the trustees of the Melbourne public library and later (1876) assistant librarian. He founded in 1868 the Yorick Club, which soon numbered among its members the chief Australian men of letters. The most famous of his books is For the Term of his Natural Life (Melbourne, 1874), a powerful tale of an Australian penal settlement, which originally appeared in serial form in a Melbourne paper. He also wrote The Peripatetic Philosopher (1869), a series of amusing papers reprinted from The Austral-asian; Long Odds (London, 1870), a novel; and numerous comedies and pantomimes, the best of which was Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (Theatre Royal, Melbourne; Christmas, 1873). He married an actress, Marian Dunn. In spite of his popular success Clarke was constantly involved in pecuniary difficulties, which are said to have hastened his death at Melbourne on the 2nd of August 1881.
See The Marcus Clarke Memorial Volume (Melbourne, 1884), containing selections from his writings with a biography and list of works, edited by Hamilton Mackinnon.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)