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Edmund James Banfield Books

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This book contain collection of 4 Books.1. The Confessions of a Beachcomber [1908]2. My Tropic Isle [1910]3. Tropic Days [1918]4. Last Leaves from Dunk Island [1925]About the AuthorEdmund James BanfieldBANFIELD, EDMUND JAMES (1852-1923), author and naturalist, was born on 4 September 1852 at Toxteth Park, Liverpool, England, son of Jabez Walter Banfield (1820-1899), printer, and his wife Sarah Ann, née Smith. Jabez had served his apprenticeship with a Liverpool printer, but migrated to Victoria in 1852 and followed the gold rushes. On 20 November 1854 his family sailed in the Indian Queen to join him. A founding partner in the Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser, Jabez moved to Ararat in 1857 and started the Ararat Advertiser; it was owned by the family until the 1960s. He became a leading local citizen: treasurer to the borough council and the hospital board of management for some thirty-five years, magistrate, churchwarden and lay preacher, secretary to the cemetery trustees, and popular public reciter and reader of Dickens, Shakespeare and other classic authors.Educated at an Ararat church-school, Edmund became a reporter and printer's assistant for his father, relaxing on weekend natural history trips in the Grampians. In the 1870s he worked on the Melbourne Age and the Sydney Daily Telegraph, and in 1882 became reporter and sub-editor with the Townsville Daily Bulletin in Queensland. In 1884, probably with the backing of Burns Philp & Co., he travelled to England; while there an eye injured in childhood was removed, and he met Bertha Golding, who migrated to Townsville to marry him on 3 August 1886 at St James' Anglican Church. He had published The Torres Straits Route from Queensland to England in Townsville in 1885.Banfield reported Robert Philp on his first election campaign in 1886, and in 1890 organized fund-raising functions for the North Queensland separation movement. Although he took professional responsibilities seriously, he felt that he lacked 'those qualities which make for dutiful citizenship' and was enraged by political, professional and personal wrongs, real and imagined. He camped with friends on Dunk Island near Tully and in September 1896 applied for a thirty-year lease of part of the island. Diagnosed as tubercular and in nervous collapse, he resigned from the North Queensland Newspaper Co. and, partly blind, with a palsied hand and a deaf wife, settled on Dunk Island from 28 September 1897.

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