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Biographical entry Banfield, Edmund James (1852 - 1923)

4 September 1852
Toxteth Park, Liverpool, England
2 June 1923
Dunk Island, Queensland, Australia


Edmund James Banfield lived on Dunk Island 1897-1923. He kept an erratic diary of nature observations, which he used as the basis for articles and books. His most famous work was "The Confessions of a Beachcomber" (published London, 1908).


Born Toxteth Park, Liverpool, England, 4 September 1852. Died Dunk Island, 2 June 1923. Reporter and printer's assistant, "Ararat Advertiser" (his father's newspaper); Melbourne "Age" and Sydney "Daily Telegraph" 1870s; reporter and sub-editor, "Townsville Daily Bulletin" 1882-97; retired because of ill health to Dunk Island, where he corresponded with naturalists all over the world, and wrote books and articles, including articles for North Queensland newspapers and "Queensland Geographical Journal".

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Bonnin, Margriet R., 'Banfield, Edmund James (1852-1923), author and naturalist', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 7, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1979, pp. 165-166. Also available at Details

Journal Articles

  • Barrett, C., ''The Beachcomber' and His Tropic Isle', Australian Museum Magazine, October, 1923. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.