Carlton Dawe

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William Carlton Lanyon Dawe, generally known as Carlton Dawe (30 July 1865 – 30 May 1935), was a prolific Australian author of over 70 books including romance, mystery and crime.

Dawe was born in Adelaide and came from an old Cornish family.[1] Dawe came to Melbourne with his parents around 1880, and in 1885 published in London Sydonia and other Poems. In 1886 Love and the World and other Poems was published in Melbourne. Although these poems were possibly a little better than average, they did not suggest any particular promise. In the same year he published in Melbourne his first attempt at fiction, Zantha, and in 1889 another volume of poetry, Sketches in Verse, was published in London. The Golden Lake (1891) has been described as a Lemurian novel and is an adventure story based on the search for a cave of gold in Australia, and The Emu's Head (1893) is about the violent Australian gold mines.[1]

Dawe was all his life a traveller, going round the world more than once and lived for a time in Asia, before settling permanently in England from 1892.[1] His work often examined the difficulties of white man's difficulties in settlement of the Far East, and his earlier short stories anticipate Joseph Conrad and Somerset Maugham.[1] Yellow and White (1895) and Kakemonos (1897), are collections of short stories and notes along this line and gave straightforward accounts of interracial sex ("the love of the white for the yellow").[1] Yellow Man (1900) is a thriller involving Chinese secret societies.[1] The Emu's Head (1893) is about the violent Australian gold mines.[1]

Dawe wrote a few plays; The Black Spider was produced in London in 1927. He also had two plays filmed, The Black Spider (US: Foolish Monte Carlo) in 1920[2] and The Shadow of Evil in 1921.[3]

Dawe died in London in 1935.


Dawe published more than seventy seven books during his life[4] covering romance, mystery and crime.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g John Sutherland. "Dawe" in The Stanford Companion to Victorian Literature Archived 11 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. 1989. ISBN 978-0-8047-1842-4
  2. ^ a b The Black Spider at IMDB. US title Foolish Monte Carlo.
  3. ^ a b The Shadow of Evil at IMDB.
  4. ^ As recorded in the British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books (1965–66) and listed in E. Morris Miller's Australian Literature

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