Writing the colonial adventure : race, gender, and nation in Anglo-Australian popular fiction, 1875-1914 /
Robert Dixon.
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1995.
x, 228 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
0521481902 (hardback)
More Details
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1995.
0521481902 (hardback)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-07-01:
Dixon (Univ. of South Queensland) takes a neglected subject, traces its origins, and explores its conflicted morality. Stirring impulses of exploration, conquest, and rule, the adventure tale--or ripping yarn--galvanized the myth of British imperialism. But the genre expressed disillusion along with optimism, since British and colonial interests had diverged by 1875. The adventure story that in London equated with imperial glory promoted egalitarianism and national pride when written by an Australian hand. A fictional Australian bushranger faced with a crisis would always outperform his effete English counterpart. The subgenre of invasion fiction shows this same rugged, decent Australian fighting Japanese invaders, whose penetration of the Northern Territory was condoned, if not actively endorsed, by Whitehall. (Aboriginals were dismissed as too stupid to challenge white rule.) Yet the same subgenre that served as an arena for white male heroics favored submission and subservience from its women. The heroines of Rosa Praed, though, changed local definitions of gender and power by seeking outlets for their energies. Like the Asian menace, the new woman depicted a nagging colonial crisis. Dixon rises above a penchant for wordiness and jargon and provides a discussion of the literary importance of this conflict. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. P. Wolfe University of Missouri--St. Louis
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Choice, July 1996
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Table of Contents
The romance of property
Outlaws and lawmakers: Boldrewood, Praed and the ethics of adventure
Israel in Egypt: the significance of Australian captivity narratives
Imperial romance: King Solomon's Mines and Australian romance
The new woman and the coming man: gender and genre in the 'lost-race' romance
The other world: Rosa Praed's occult novels
The boundaries of civility: Australia, Asia and the Pacific
Imagined invasions: The Lone Hand and narratives of Asiatic invasion
The colonial city: crime fiction and empire
Beyond adventure
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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