So where were we? (Part 3)

Well, this is a cheat, or at least the softest option—since of all the sub-sections of this blog, my examination of the roots of Australian fiction has travelled the least distance. However—

My posts in this area have chiefly addressed the arguments surrounding the various definitions of “first” – provenance vs publication – while we have also taken a look at a random piece of poetry, the earliest piece of fictional writing of any kind to be published here.

So far, our Australian bibliography looks like this—

The Beauty Of The British Alps (1825): written and published in England by Mary Leman Grimstone before the author’s journey to Tasmania; not strictly part of this series
The Van Diemen’s Land Warriors, or The Heroes Of Cornwall (1827): an anonymous poem satirising the failure of the Tasmanian authorities to deal with the local bushranger problem
Louisa Egerton; or, Castle Herbert (1829): written partially on shipboard and completed in Hobart by Mary Leman Grimstone, but sent to England for publication; set in England
The Hermit In Van Diemen’s Land (1829): a collection of satirical sketches by Henry Savery, lampooning prominent Hobart citizens, which appeared in the Colonial Times before being published in book form
Quintus Servinton (1830 – 1831): by Henry Savery, the first novel written, published and (mostly) set in Australia

But as we all know, I can never take a step forward without taking one back; and there is another work from 1830 that I need to take a look at before we can actually make some progress.

It’s an odd work, written in England by an Englishwoman who never set foot in Australia, and dealing predominantly (although not always overtly) with English problems; but it is mostly set in Australia, and was certainly the first such piece of writing to be aimed at an audience that we would today call “young adult”.

Next up, then—

Alfred Dudley; or, The Australian Settlers by Sarah Porter.

Beyond that, we take a leap into the unknown. There are plenty of non-fiction works out there, particularly travel diaries and memoirs, and a surprising amount of poetry; but the dogma is that very little Australian fiction of any description was written over the next decade and a half. My next efforts here will be focused upon trying to determine whether that is true.

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: