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Additional info for Australian Classics: 50 Great Writers and Their Celebrated Works
Marcus Clarke based one of the central dynamics of His Natural Life—the twin narratives of Rufus Dawes and John Rex—on the Tichborne case. And his third novel, serialised in the Australian Journal from 1874 to 1875, was called Chidiock Tichborne (the real-life poet ancestor of Sir Roger Tichborne). Anthony Trollope was another who used the story. Charles Reade—whose convict novel It Is Never Too Late to Mend Clarke alludes to in His Natural Life—also wrote a novel based on the Tichborne case: The Wandering Heir, published in 1875.
In June 1863, aged seventeen, Marcus Clarke arrived in Melbourne from London. He had grown up in affluent Kensington, received a good grammar school education, and anticipated a life of literature and gentlemanly leisure. indd 33 24/9/07 2:14:06 PM AU S T R A L I A N C L A S S I C S forced to move to Australia, where he had family. After work in a bank and on a station, Clarke became a journalist for the influential newspaper the Argus and settled into the bohemian milieu of Melbourne, which was newly rich, vibrant and teeming with exotica following the discovery of gold the previous decade.
After work in a bank and on a station, Clarke became a journalist for the influential newspaper the Argus and settled into the bohemian milieu of Melbourne, which was newly rich, vibrant and teeming with exotica following the discovery of gold the previous decade. Clarke became editor of Colonial Monthly in 1868 and there published his first novel, Long Odds, in serial instalments from 1868 to 1869. Long Odds—about horse-racing and mostly set in England—was criticised for having no relevance to colonial life.