STONE, Louis (1871-1935)

STONE, Louis (1871-1935)
was born at Leicester, England, in 1871. He came with his parents to Brisbane in 1884, and the family moved to Sydney a year later. He began the arts course at the university of Sydney, but did not graduate, and entering the New South Wales education department, became first assistant at the Coogee school, and subsequently a teacher at the Sydney Boys High School. His first book, Jonah, a novel of larrikin life in Sydney, was published in London in 1911. Its merits were recognized by a few discerning readers, but it was not reprinted until 1933. Another novel, Betty Wayside, after being printed as a serial in the Lone Hand, was published in 1915. Stone then gave much time to writing plays and in 1920 visited London hoping to have a dramatized version of Jonah produced. After his return he did a little writing for local magazines, but his health began to deteriorate, and he was obliged to retire from the education department some time before his death at Sydney on 23 September 1935.
Stone, who was a fine musician, married Abbie Allen, also a musician of ability, who survived him. It is difficult to say why Stone's work was not better appreciated. Jonah has excellent character drawing, and a crisp style; and though Betty Wayside is more conventional, its merit is above that of the average novel of its time.
The Bookfellow, 1 December 1911 and 1 January 1912; The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 September 1935; H. M. Green, An Outline of Australian Literature; E. Morris Miller, Australian Literature.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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