Dyson was also a talented writer, a scintillating humourist and an arresting speaker. A stunning overnight success, he was described as the most famous Australian in the world.
In 1916 Dyson became Australia's first official war artist. His drawings of profound empathy and sympathy remain a unique record of the Western Front experience. Once again he complemented his art with exquisite writing.
Returning to Australia in 1925, he took up etching to international acclaim, confirming that whatever he did he did well.
Absorbing, illuminating, and lavishly illustrated, this is a fascinating story of the life and times of a remarkable and under-recognised Australian.
About the Author
Ross McMullin is a historian and biographer who has written extensively about the impact on Australia of its involvement in World War I. Dr McMullin’s books include his biographies, the award-winning Pompey Elliott and Will Dyson: Australia’s radical genius. His most recent book, Farewell, Dear People: biographies of Australia’s lost generation, was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History.
'The story of this talented, likeable, thoroughly political man is well worth knowing on many fronts ... [an] absorbing book.' -Australian Book Review;'McMullin's book does Dyson credit. Its biographical style with footnotes neatly tucked out of sight makes for easy and pleasurable reading, and the illustrations throughout are a treat.' -Australian Historical Studies;'Ross McMullin's stunning biography entertains, educates and entices the reader to ponder what heights our nation might have reached if we had nurtured and hung on to men such as Dyson ... The passion and intelligence with which McMullin traces Dyson's career ... allows readers to feel that they have in some way encountered Dyson as an artist and a man. This is what biography should be: not just a pallid regurgitation of the facts of a life, but an engagement with that life.' -Courier Mail;'McMullin has written an enjoyable and absorbing account of the life of an enjoyable and absorbing Australian.' -David Flinders Journal of History and Politics;'The book is handsomely produced with cartoons and sketches often given generous full-page treatment unlike the cramped space - sometimes only a single column - Dyson was afforded by his editors. It also contains an excellent range of photographs of family (both the Dysons and the Lindsays), friends, the Front and Dyson's passage through life.' -JAS Review of Books;'a nuanced and thorough portrait ... Will Dyson is a biography, a political history, a World War I history and a partial history of Australian art and literature.' -Labour History;'a very impressive book. It not only brings to life a remarkably talented individual ... it also recreates the era from which he emerged. Jimi Hendrix famously called the blues "the reflection of the world". McMullin shows that biography, at its best, can be something similar.' -overland