Literary Criticism

Colonial Australian Fiction | ,

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Over the course of the nineteenth century a remarkable array of types appeared – and disappeared – in Australian literature: the swagman, the larrikin, the colonial detective, the bushranger, the “currency lass”, the squatter, and more. Some had a powerful influence on the colonies’ developing sense of identity; others were more ephemeral. But all had a role to play in shaping and reflecting the social and economic circumstances of life in the colonies. In Colonial Australian Fiction: Character Types, Social Formations and the Colonial Economy, Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver explore the genres in which these characters flourished: the squatter novel, the bushranger adventure, colonial detective stories, the swagman’s yarn, the Australian girl’s romance. Authors as diverse as Catherine Helen Spence, Rosa Praed, Henry Kingsley, Anthony Trollope, Henry Lawson, Miles Franklin, Barbara Baynton, Rolf Boldrewood, Mary Fortune and Marcus Clarke were fascinated by colonial character types, and brought them vibrantly to life. As this book shows, colonial Australian character types are fluid, contradictory and often unpredictable. When we look closely, they have the potential to challenge our assumptions about fiction, genre and national identity. The preliminary pages and introduction to this work are available free to download at the Sydney eScholarship Repository: https://hdl.handle.net/2123/16435 Contents Introduction: The Colonial Economy and the Production of Colonial Character Types 1 The Reign of the Squatter 2 Bushrangers 3 Colonial Australian Detectives 4 Bush Types and Metropolitan Types 5 The Australian Girl Works Cited Index About the series The Sydney Studies in Australian Literature series publishes original, peer-reviewed research in the field of Australian literature. The series comprises monographs devoted to the works of major authors and themed collections of essays about current issues in the field of Australian literary studies. The series offers well-researched and engagingly written re-evaluations of the nature and importance of Australian literature, and aims to reinvigorate its study both in Australia and internationally..

History

Reckoning with the Past | Ashley Barnwell,Joseph Cummins

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This is the first book to examine how Australian fiction writers draw on family histories to reckon with the nation’s colonial past. Located at the intersection of literature, history, and sociology, it explores the relationships between family storytelling, memory, and postcolonial identity. With attention to the political potential of family histories, Reckoning with the Past argues that authors’ often autobiographical works enable us to uncover, confront, and revise national mythologies. An important contribution to the emerging global conversation about multidirectional memory and the need to attend to the effects of colonisation, this book will appeal to an interdisciplinary field of scholarly readers..

Fiction

Australian Literature | Phyllis Fahrie Edelson

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Spanning more than a century, Australian Literature crystallizes a spirit, style, and ethos found nowhere else in world literature. These captivating selections in Australian Literature come from major voices, both famous and lesser known, and encompass short stories, memoirs, novels and aboriginal writings. Resonant or wryly witty, charming or disturbing, they explore themes deeply rooted in the Australian experience—shaping the land, the legacies of the convict past, the displacement of the aborigine, the search for a national identity, sex, love, and commitment. Including these stories: “The Drover’s Wife” by Henry Lawson “The Chosen Vessel” by Barbara Baynton “The Loaded Dog” by Henry Lawson From The Tree of Man by Patrick White “The Night We Watched for Wallabies” by Steele Rudd “A Gentleman’s Agreement” by Elizabeth Jolley “Northern Belle” by Thea Astley “The Cooboo” by Katharine Susannah Prichard From Dr. Wooreddy’s Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the World by Colin Johnson “Going Home” by Archie Weller From Wanamurraganya: The Story of Jack McPhee by Sally Morgan “Breaking a Man’s Spirit” by Marcus Clarke “Absalom Day’s Promotion” by Price Warung “The First Days” by A. B. Facey “In the Trenches” by A. B. Facey From The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea by Randolph Stow “The Kyogle Line” by David Malouf “American Dreams” by Peter Carey “Willy-wagtails by Moonlight” by Patrick White “A Good Marriage” by Olga Masters “Civilization and Its Discontents” by Helen Garner “The Train Will Shortly Arrive” by Frank Moorhouse “Two Hanged Women” by Henry Handel Richardson “Brown Seaweed and Old Fish Nets” by Christina Stead “The Woman at the Window” by Marian Eldridge “A Woman with Black Hair” by Beverley Farmer “Blood and Water” by Tim Winton.

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Postcolonial Issues in Australian Literature | ,

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A History of Australian Literature | ,

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Fiction

Force and Fraud | Ellen Davitt

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Outback Australia in the mid-1800s. When rich, domineering squatter Angus McAlpin is murdered, the obvious suspect is the penniless artist, Herbert Lindsey - who wants to marry his daughter, Flora. McAlpin may have proclaimed that Flora would marry Herbert 'only over his dead body' - and Herbert's bloodstained knife and handkerchief were found near the murder scene - but the artist denies any wrongdoing. So begins a compelling murder mystery and trial, as the heiress seeks to prove her lover's innocence, and a country town takes sides. Force may have killed Angus McAlpin, but fraud follows murder in a cunning plan to see Herbert Lindsey hanged - by any means necessary. For someone else is determined to marry Flora, to obtain her property and her person; and he will stop at nothing. Praise for Force and Fraud: 'Stunning historical mystery. Court scene worthy of Perry Mason' - Kerry Greenwood.

Literary Criticism

Domestic Fiction in Colonial Australia and New Zealand | Tamara S Wagner

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Colonial domestic literature has been largely overlooked and is due for a reassessment. This essay collection explores attitudes to colonialism, imperialism and race, as well as important developments in girlhood and the concept of the New Woman..

Literary Criticism

Globaletics and Radicant Aesthetics in Australian Fiction | Salhia Ben-Messahel

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This book focuses on the issues of space, culture and identity in recent Australian fiction. It discusses the work of 15 authors to show that, in Australia, the meaning of “country” remains critical and cultural belonging is still a difficult process. Interrogating the definition of Australia as a “post-colonial nation” and its underlying extension from Britain, it applies Nicolas Bourriaud’s concept of the Radicant to examine Australian writing beyond the “post” of “post-colonialism”. The book shows that some authors are engaged in writing about the country and the time in which they live, but that they also share common critical views on the definition of multiculturalism, the belonging to place, and integration in the nation. The volume suggests that theories of cultural hybridism presented as a decolonising methodology in fact dissolve singularity in the same way that globalisation creates standardisation. It argues that 21st century Australian fiction depicts the subject as a radicant and that Australian culture constitutes a mobile entity unconnected to any soil..

Literary Criticism

Apocalypse in Australian Fiction and Film | Roslyn Weaver

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Australia has been a frequent choice of location for narratives about the end of the world in science fiction and speculative works, ranging from pre-colonial apocalyptic maps to key literary works from the last fifty years. This critical work explores the role of Australia in both apocalyptic literature and film. Works and genres covered include Nevil Shute’s popular novel On the Beach, Mad Max, children’s literature, Indigenous writing, and cyberpunk. The text examines ways in which apocalypse is used to undermine complacency, foretell environmental disasters, critique colonization, and to serve as a means of protest for minority groups. Australian apocalypse imagines Australia at the ends of the world, geographically and psychologically, but also proposes spaces of hope for the future..

Fiction

True History of the Kelly Gang | Peter Carey

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SOONTO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE The international bestseller, Booker Prize winner, and winner of the 2001 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book. Out of 19th century Australia rides a hero of his people and a man for all nations: Ned Kelly, the son of poor Irish immigrants, viewed by the authorities as a thief (especially of horses) and, as a cold-blooded killer. To the people, though, he was a patriot hounded unfairly by rich English landlords and their stooges. In the end, Kelly and his so-called gang (his younger brother and two friends) led a massive police manhunt on a wild goose chase that lasted twenty months, in which Ned’s talents as a bushman were augmented by bank robberies and the support of nearly everyone not in a uniform. His one demand – for which he would have surrendered himself was his jailed mother’s freedom. Executed by hanging more than a century ago, speaking as if from the grave, Kelly still resonates as the most potent legend in the land down under..

Fiction

The Secret River | Kate Grenville

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A life of petty crime and poverty on the streets of 19th-century London sentences William Thornhill—along with his wife and children—to exile in the colonial outpost of Australia. But among the convicts of New South Wales there is a whisper of the possibility of freedom, away from Sydney and up the Hawkesbury River, for those who dare to stake a claim. In a richly layered epic that recalls such international modern classics as The True History of the Kelly Gang, Kate Grenville tells the heart-wrenching story of a family in exile. Sweeping across the 19th century, from the teeming banks of the Thames in London to the hardscrabble frontier settlement of Sydney, Australia, The Secret River sets us down in an unforgiving land and masterfully confronts us with the brutal price of colonization..

Social Science

Gender, Madness, and Colonial Paranoia in Australian Literature | Laura Deane

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This book rethinks women’s madness through a rigorous analysis of colonial paranoia. Arguing that colonialism produces a distinct cultural expression of women’s madness, this book contends that it is the male characters of the novels who exhibit symptoms of colonial paranoia, as inheritors and agents of the colonial enterprise..

Fiction

Writing Woman, Writing Place | Sue Kossew

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Contemporary women writers in these two societies are still writing about similar issues as did earlier generations of women, such as exclusions from discourses of nation, a problematic relationship to place and belonging, relations with indigenous people and the way in which women's subjectivity has been constructed through national stereotypes and representations. This book describes and analyses some contemporary responses to 'writing woman, writing place' through close readings of particular texts that explore these issues. Three main strands run through the readings offered in Writing Woman, Writing Place - the theme of violence and the violence of representational practice itself, the revisioning of history, and the writers' consciousness of their own paradoxical subject-position within the nation as both privileged and excluded. Texts by established writers from both Australia and South Africa are examined in this context, including international prize-winning novelists Kate Grenville and Thea Astley from Australia and Nadine Gordimer from South Africa, as well as those by newly-emerging and younger writers. This book will be of essential interest to students and academics within the fields of Postcolonial Literature and Women's Writing..

Aboriginal Australians

Australian History Series: The Australian Colonies (ages 10-11 years) | Lisa Craig

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This book focuses on the founding of British colonies and their development in Australia in the 1800s. (From book cover)..

Music

Australia’s Jindyworobak Composers | David Symons

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Australia’s Jindyworobak Composers examines the music of a historically and artistically significant group of Australian composers active during the later post-colonial period (1930s–c. 1960). These composers sought to establish a uniquely Australian identity through the evocation of the country’s landscape and environment, including notably the use of Aboriginal elements or imagery in their music, texts, dramatic scenarios or ‘programmes’. Nevertheless, it must be observed that this word was originally adopted as a manifesto for an Australian literary movement, and was, for the most part, only retrospectively applied by commentators (rather than the composers themselves) to art music that was seen to share similar aesthetic aims. Chapter One demonstrates to what extent a meaningful relationship may or may not be discernible between the artistic tenets of Jindyworobak writers and apparently likeminded composers. In doing so, it establishes the context for a full exploration of the music of Australian composers to whom ‘Jindyworobak’ has come to be popularly applied. The following chapters explore the music of composers writing within the Jindyworobak period itself and, finally, the later twentieth-century afterlife of Jindyworobakism. This will be of particular interest to scholars and researchers of Ethnomusicology, Australian Music and Music History..

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Dark Emu | Bruce Pascoe

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‘Dark Emu injects a profound authenticity into the conversation about how we Australians understand our continent ... [It is] essential reading for anyone who wants to understand what Australia once was, or what it might yet be if we heed the lessons of long and sophisticated human occupation.’ Judges for 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating, and storing — behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence in Dark Emu comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources. Bruce’s comments on his book compared to Gammage’s: “ My book is about food production, housing construction and clothing, whereas Gammage was interested in the appearance of the country at contact. [Gammage] doesn’t contest hunter gatherer labels either, whereas that is at the centre of my argument.”.

Fiction

Oscar and Lucinda | Peter Carey

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Peter Carey's novel of the undeclared love between clergyman Oscar Hopkins and the heiress Lucinda Leplastrier is both a moving and beautiful love story and a historical tour de force set in Victorian times. Made for each other, the two are gamblers - one obsessive, the other compulsive - incapable of winning at the game of love. Oscar and Lucinda is now available as a Faber Modern Classics edition..

Biography & Autobiography

Elizabeth Macarthur | Michelle Scott Tucker

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‘An intimate portrait of a woman who changed herself and Australia...Michelle Scott Tucker makes Elizabeth Macarthur step off the page.’ David Hunt , Author of Girt In 1788 a young gentlewoman raised in the vicarage of an English village married a handsome, haughty and penniless army officer. In any Austen novel that would be the end of the story, but for the real-life woman who became an Australian farming entrepreneur, it was just the beginning. John Macarthur took credit for establishing the Australian wool industry and would feature on the two-dollar note, but it was practical Elizabeth who managed their holdings—while dealing with the results of John’s manias: duels, quarrels, court cases, a military coup, long absences overseas, grandiose construction projects and, finally, his descent into certified insanity. Michelle Scott Tucker shines a light on an often-overlooked aspect of Australia’s history in this fascinating story of a remarkable woman. Michelle Scott Tucker owns and operates a management consulting company, and lives on a small farm in regional Victoria with her husband and children. Elizabeth Macarthur is her first book. ‘Tucker’s great achievement is to have scraped back the familiar historical material to uncover a fresh and compelling portrait of Elizabeth Macarthur in her own words and the words of those who knew her.’ Australian ‘In writing this lively, entertaining and profoundly empathetic biography, [Tucker] has also brought other colonial women out of the shaows and told their story too...There are not many biographies or histories of Australia that are unputdownable, but this one is. Highly recommended!’ ANZ LitLovers 'The triumphs and trials of Elizabeth Macarthur, a capable business woman and dedicated wife and mother, are given their due in this impressively researched biography.’ Brenda Niall ‘This carefully researched history is a highly interesting read that highlights the importance of women in the settlement of New South Wales.’ Otago Daily Times 'Finally, Elizabeth Macarthur steps out from the long shadow of her infamous, entrepreneurial husband. In Michelle Scott Tucker’s devoted hands, Elizabeth emerges as a canny businesswoman, charming diplomat, loving mother and indefatigable survivor. A fascinating, faithful portrait of a remarkable woman and the young, volatile colony she helped to build.’ Clare Wright ‘A nourishing, fascinating, and eye-opening read.’ Alpha Reader ‘Tucker expertly details the trials, tragedies and triumphs of the early settlement of NSW...This book is an important historical memoir documenting the incredible life of an Australian pioneer and her role as the matriarch of one of Australia’s first agricultural dynasties.’ Countryman ‘Elizabeth Macarthur: A Life at the Edge of the World is a great read. It crafts a compulsive story with good research, giving a convincing look into colonial New South Wales. It offers the pleasures of fine biography in tracing one person’s life in all its seasons, through its successes and failures, joys and miseries.’ NathanHobby blog ‘A stunning and intimate look at Elizabeth [Macarthur] and the family’s lives...Should be required reading in schools...An informative and learned look at colonial history.’ AU Review.

Fiction

THE MYSTERY OF A HANSOM CAB (British Mystery Series) | Fergus Hume

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The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is a mystery novel, which takes place in Melbourne, Australia. It focuses on the investigation of a homicide involving a body discovered in a hansom cab, as well as an exploration into the social class divide in the city. The city of Melbourne plays a significant role in the plot and, as the author describes: "Over all the great city hung a cloud of smoke like a pall." Fergus Hume (1859-1932) was a prolific English novelist. His self-published novel, "The Mystery of a Hansom Cab", became a great success. It eventually became the best selling mystery novel of the Victorian era, author John Sutherland terming it the "most sensationally popular crime and detective novel of the century"..

History

The Convict Valley | Mark Dunn

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In 1790, five convicts escaped Sydney by boat and were swept ashore near present-day Newcastle. They were taken in by the Worimi people, given Aboriginal names and started families. Thus began a long and at times dramatic series of encounters between Aboriginal people and convicts in the second penal settlement in Australia. The fertile valley of the Hunter River was the first area outside the Sydney basin explored by the British, and it became one of the largest penal settlements. Today manicured lawns and prosperous vineyards hide the struggle, violence and toil of the thousands of convicts who laid its foundations. The Convict Valley uncovers this rich colonial past, as well as the story of the original Aboriginal landholders. While there were friendships and alliances in the early years, in the later scramble for land in the 1820s - as the Valley was opened to free settlers - tensions rose and bloodshed ensued. With fascinating stories about convicts, white settlers and the Aboriginal inhabitants that have long been forgotten, The Convict Valley is a new Australian history classic. 'Deeply researched and beautifully written.' Grace Karskens 'Interweaving the Aboriginal, convict and mining pasts of the Hunter Valley, gifted storyteller Dunn reveals the missing and misunderstood complexities of these histories.' Professor John Maynard, The University of Newcastle 'In this groundbreaking book, Mark Dunn shows how the Hunter Valley became the heartland of convict Australia.' Professor Lyndall Ryan, author of Tasmanian Aborigines.