Marcus Clarke was born in London in 1846 and moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1862 following the death of his father. Known for being adventurous in terms of his career, Clarke found it hard to focus on a single profession and spent much of his youth and young adulthood trying his hand at a number of different opportunities from banking to working on stations in rural areas. In fact, throughout his life, writing seemed to be the only activity he would always come back to. Melbourne proved to be a great source of material for his literary endeavours and soon his local articles began to get noticed around the city and he was becoming known for his view on Melbourne life.
Clarke also wrote novels, his most well-known being ‘His Natural Life’ which was first published in 1870. However, it was his articles that caused the most commotion around Melbourne and in the lead up to the 1880’s Clarke was known to regularly spark controversy when it came to his writing.
It was this controversy that ultimately paved the way for Clarkes theatrical satire ‘The Happy Land’ (1880) which, in the lead up to a Melbourne opening night, was banned by the same government Clarke so enjoyed stirring up.