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C. J. Dennis (Clarence Michael James Dennis) Biography

(1876–1936), (Clarence Michael James Dennis), The Critic, Herald, Backblock Ballads and Other Verses

Australian journalist, born in South Australia. He became editor of the Adelaide weekly The Critic, and eventually joined the Melbourne Herald. Having had little success with Backblock Ballads and Other Verses (1913), Dennis extracted four verse narratives from the collection and republished them as Songs of a Sentimental Bloke (1915), which achieved immediate popularity. The Moods of Ginger Mick (1916) recorded the antics of Bloke's friend during the war. This, with the earlier marching song ‘The Australiaise’ (1908), captured the prevailing mood of Australian nationalism. Both the Bloke and Ginger Mick were presented as caricatures of the irreverent, down to earth, good-humoured Australian. There is a shrewd sensitivity to human failings in Dennis's verse narratives which accounts for the folk stature they have acquired.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Walter John De La Mare Biography to Hilda Doolittle Biography