Biography Francis William Lauderdale Adams

Francis William Lauderdale Adams

photo of Francis William Lauderdale Adams
  • Time Period1862 - 1893
  • Place
  • CountryAustralia

Poet Biography

The brief, brave life of Francis William Lauderdale Adams—makes a dramatic and remarkable story.

Adams (1862–1893) was a brilliant young English writer who championed the cause of nationalism and socialism in Australia in the 1880s. Knowing his life would be unfairly brief because of tuberculosis, he burned with passion and energy, playing a significant role in shaping and reflecting Australia’s literary, social and cultural history in the years leading to Federation.

His six most productive years (1884–1890) were spent in Australia. Quickly and enthusiastically embraced by the Australian radical press, he became highly influential as a social analyst and commentator. His poetic work participates in both the ‘bush’ writing of the Australian 1890s and the aesthetic ‘decadence’ of the English fin-de-siècle. He also wrote a number of novels.

Adams’ death was gruesome and tragic. During a massive tubercular haemorrhage at the age of 31, he shot himself in the mouth in front of, and perhaps with the help of, his devoted wife Edith.