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
Introduction: The Colonial Economy and the Production of Colonial Character Types
1 The Reign of the Squatter
3 Colonial Australian Detectives
4 Bush Types and Metropolitan Types
5 The Australian Girl
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.
Ken Gelder is Professor of English and co-Director of the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne.
Rachael Weaver is an ARC Senior Research Fellow in English and the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne.
Tim Winton has won the Miles Franklin Literary Award a record four times and has twice been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His novels and short stories are widely studied in schools and universities, and have been lauded by critics both in Australia and internationally. Unusually for an Australian literary author, he is also one of the country’s most enduringly popular writers: Cloudstreet was voted “Australia’s favourite book” in a poll conducted by the ABC, his books regularly appear on bestseller lists, and his stories have been adapted for the stage, television, cinema and opera.
In this wide-ranging study of Winton’s work and career, McCredden considers how Winton has sustained a strong mainstream following while exploring complex themes and moving between genres. Attending to both secular and sacred frames of reference, she considers his treatment of class, gender, place, landscape and belonging, and shows how a compassion for human falling and redemption permeates his work. She demonstrates how his engagement with these recurring ideas has deepened and changed over time, and how he has moved between – and challenged – the categories of the “popular” and the “literary”.