Randolph Hughes was born in Burwood, Sydney in 1889 and was educated at Sydney Boys' High School and later Sydney University.
Often wearing a monocle and gloves, and carrying a walking-stick Hughes was a passionate man who held to his beliefs tenaciously. A talented scholar he referred to himself as both a pagan and a Tory and appears to have been a difficult man for women to deal with. He not only had a number of marriages but was often dismissive of women in his critical pieces.
Though essentially a creative writer, Randolph Hughes published little in this field. The Lost Eurydice, his only long work of imaginative prose, was never finished. Much of his other writing was published in numerous English and French periodicals, producing his European wide reputation as a brilliant, creative and uncompromising critic with a vast breadth of scholarship.