The Bush Undertaker single work   short story  
Alternative title: A Christmas in the Far West, Or, the Bush Undertaker
  • Author: Henry Lawson http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/lawson-henry
Issue Details: First known date: 1892 1892
AustLit is a subscription service. The content and services available here are limited because you have not been recognised as a subscriber. Find out how to gain full access to AustLit

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

An old shepherd discovers his mate, Brummy, dead and mummified in the bush. Saddened, he feels compelled to bury him.

Adaptations

form y Swampy and Brummy Cliff Green , Australia : ABC Television , 1980 7140470 1980 single work film/TV

'Swampy was born a layabout and takes great pride in it, on the other hand Brummy drifted into loaferdom and is consumed by the memories of long years wasted in honest work. After years of relying on each other they go their separate ways but a strange quirk of fate brings the two together again.'

Source:

[Television guide], The Canberra Times, 15 February 1980, p.18.

Notes

  • This work was originally published in the Antipodean in 1892 with the title 'A Christmas in the Far West, or, the Bush Undertaker'. The title was shortened to 'The Bush Undertaker' for inclusion in Short Stories in Prose and Verse (1894) and this continued in subsequent publications.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: 'A Christmas in the Far West, or, the Bush Undertaker'
  • Appears in:
    y The Antipodean 1892 Z1328412 1892 periodical issue 1892 pg. 95-102
  • Appears in:
    y While the Billy Boils : The Original Newspaper Versions Henry Lawson , Paul Eggert (editor), Sydney : Sydney University Press , 2013 6155517 2013 selected work short story (taught in 3 units)

    'Fifty-two of Henry Lawson's stories and sketches that he had first published in newspapers and magazines from 1888 onwards were gathered in his collection While the Billy Boils (Angus & Robertson, 1896). Lawson was not responsible for their ordering and he had to give ground on their texts, especially on his idiosyncratic presentation of wordings that helped to breathe life into his characters and situations. The present edition dismantles the fait accompli of 1896 by presenting the individual items in the chronological order of their first publication and with their original newspaper texts. This will allow a new appreciation of Lawson's writing, one that is attentive to his developing powers.

    'The edition also facilitates a close study of Lawson's collaboration with the producers of the collection in 1896, in particular with his copy-editor Arthur W. Jose and publisher George Robertson. Facsimile images (available online) of the printer's copy that they prepared for While the Billy Boils supplement the edition's listing of the alterations that each of them made, revealing the textual history of each story or sketch.' (Publisher's blurb)

    Sydney : Sydney University Press , 2013
    pg. 74-89

Works about this Work

Henry Lawson Peter Kirkpatrick , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Greats 2008; (p. 49-52)
The Camaraderie of Not Caring : Misreading Henry Lawson Patrick Morgan , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Quadrant , November vol. 51 no. 11 2007; (p. 60-64)
Drover's Wife Echoes in Computer Data Loss Brian Matthews , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 17 April vol. 17 no. 7 2007;
Death and Burial in the Bush: A Distinctive Australian Culture of Death Pat Jalland , 2001 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 236 2001; (p. 43-48)
'Resurrecting' the Australian Past : Henry Lawson's 'The Bush Undertaker' Robert J. Dingley , 1998 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Body in the Library 1998; (p. 155-165)
y The Short Stories of Henry Lawson Adrian Mitchell , Sydney : Sydney University Press in assoc. with Oxford University Press , 1995 Z940380 1995 single work criticism Contains a general introduction on Lawson and his work, and the following chapters discussing individual stories: 1 'The Drover's Wife'; 2 'The Bush Undertaker'; 3 'In a Dry Season, 'In a Wet Season' and 'Hungerford'; 4 'The Union Buries Its Dead'; 5 The Joe Wilson Stories; 6 'The Geological Spieler', 'The Iron-Bark Chip' and 'The Loaded Dog'. Also includes suggestions for further reading.
The Grave in the Bush Elizabeth Webby , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: Tilting at Matilda : Literature, Aborigines, Women and the Church in Contemporary Australia 1994; (p. 30-38)
Aborigines and Women in Lawson's "The Bush Undertaker" Phillip O'Neill , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian & New Zealand Studies in Canada , December no. 8 1992; (p. 59-70)
The National Myth and the Stereotype : "The Bush Undertaker" Goes to the Bhabha Christopher Lee , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian-Canadian Studies , vol. 10 no. 2 1992; (p. 136-141)
What Colour Are the Dead? Madness, Race and National Gaze in Henry Lawson's The Bush Undertaker Christopher Lee , 1991 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 13 no. 3 1991; (p. 14-25) The AustLit Anthology of Criticism 2010; (p. 25)
Lee examines the National vs Imperial contestation for power in 'The Bush Undertaker' in the dicourse of the narrator and the hatter. The space between what the narrator 'knows' and reality is the site where the 'eccentric' or 'mad' emerges. This is the 'other' - that which is outside the Australian's 'national gaze'. Lee concludes that a 'stoic-heroic disengagement with [the grand Australian Bush] . . . identifies the character of the Australian Nation'.
Madness in Australian Fiction Laurie Clancy , 1990 single work criticism
— Appears in: Left, Right or Centre? Psychiatry and the Status Quo 1990; (p. 125-135)
The Originality of "While the Billy Boils" John Barnes , 1985 single work criticism
— Appears in: Henry Lawson's Short Stories 1985; (p. 12-25)
Between Living and Dying : The Ground of Lawson's Art Harry Payne Heseltine , 1982 single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , July no. 88 1982; (p. 19-26) The Uncertain Self : Essays in Australian Literature and Criticism 1986; (p. 42-55)
Heseltine employs a musical metaphor to show that the integrity of Lawson's great tales of the 1890s "resides in his determination to hold the balance between the spiritual wasteland he perceived in his own and other lives and the tantalising but illusory promise of rebirth he could not help but entertain".
Swampy and Brummy Cliff Green , 1980 single work screenplay
— Appears in: Lawson's Mates 1980; (p. 154-195)
'The Nurse and Tutor of Eccentric Minds' : Some Developments in Lawson's Treatment of Madness Brian Matthews , 1970 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 4 no. 3 1970; (p. 251-257) The AustLit Anthology of Criticism 2010; (p. 27)
Matthews argues that Lawson's exploration of madness in his stories helped him to understand the feelings of loneliness and alienation.
An Old Magazine Reginald Spencer Browne , 1927 single work review
— Appears in: The Brisbane Courier , 19 February 1927; (p. 20)
Spencer-Browne reviews an early issue of The Antipodean.
'Resurrecting' the Australian Past : Henry Lawson's 'The Bush Undertaker' Robert J. Dingley , 1998 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Body in the Library 1998; (p. 155-165)
The Camaraderie of Not Caring : Misreading Henry Lawson Patrick Morgan , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Quadrant , November vol. 51 no. 11 2007; (p. 60-64)
An Old Magazine Reginald Spencer Browne , 1927 single work review
— Appears in: The Brisbane Courier , 19 February 1927; (p. 20)
Spencer-Browne reviews an early issue of The Antipodean.
Drover's Wife Echoes in Computer Data Loss Brian Matthews , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 17 April vol. 17 no. 7 2007;
Henry Lawson Peter Kirkpatrick , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Greats 2008; (p. 49-52)
Swampy and Brummy Cliff Green , 1980 single work screenplay
— Appears in: Lawson's Mates 1980; (p. 154-195)
What Colour Are the Dead? Madness, Race and National Gaze in Henry Lawson's The Bush Undertaker Christopher Lee , 1991 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kunapipi , vol. 13 no. 3 1991; (p. 14-25) The AustLit Anthology of Criticism 2010; (p. 25)
Lee examines the National vs Imperial contestation for power in 'The Bush Undertaker' in the dicourse of the narrator and the hatter. The space between what the narrator 'knows' and reality is the site where the 'eccentric' or 'mad' emerges. This is the 'other' - that which is outside the Australian's 'national gaze'. Lee concludes that a 'stoic-heroic disengagement with [the grand Australian Bush] . . . identifies the character of the Australian Nation'.
The Grave in the Bush Elizabeth Webby , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: Tilting at Matilda : Literature, Aborigines, Women and the Church in Contemporary Australia 1994; (p. 30-38)
Aborigines and Women in Lawson's "The Bush Undertaker" Phillip O'Neill , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian & New Zealand Studies in Canada , December no. 8 1992; (p. 59-70)
The Originality of "While the Billy Boils" John Barnes , 1985 single work criticism
— Appears in: Henry Lawson's Short Stories 1985; (p. 12-25)
Between Living and Dying : The Ground of Lawson's Art Harry Payne Heseltine , 1982 single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , July no. 88 1982; (p. 19-26) The Uncertain Self : Essays in Australian Literature and Criticism 1986; (p. 42-55)
Heseltine employs a musical metaphor to show that the integrity of Lawson's great tales of the 1890s "resides in his determination to hold the balance between the spiritual wasteland he perceived in his own and other lives and the tantalising but illusory promise of rebirth he could not help but entertain".
'The Nurse and Tutor of Eccentric Minds' : Some Developments in Lawson's Treatment of Madness Brian Matthews , 1970 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 4 no. 3 1970; (p. 251-257) The AustLit Anthology of Criticism 2010; (p. 27)
Matthews argues that Lawson's exploration of madness in his stories helped him to understand the feelings of loneliness and alienation.
Madness in Australian Fiction Laurie Clancy , 1990 single work criticism
— Appears in: Left, Right or Centre? Psychiatry and the Status Quo 1990; (p. 125-135)
Death and Burial in the Bush: A Distinctive Australian Culture of Death Pat Jalland , 2001 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 236 2001; (p. 43-48)
The National Myth and the Stereotype : "The Bush Undertaker" Goes to the Bhabha Christopher Lee , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian-Canadian Studies , vol. 10 no. 2 1992; (p. 136-141)
y The Short Stories of Henry Lawson Adrian Mitchell , Sydney : Sydney University Press in assoc. with Oxford University Press , 1995 Z940380 1995 single work criticism Contains a general introduction on Lawson and his work, and the following chapters discussing individual stories: 1 'The Drover's Wife'; 2 'The Bush Undertaker'; 3 'In a Dry Season, 'In a Wet Season' and 'Hungerford'; 4 'The Union Buries Its Dead'; 5 The Joe Wilson Stories; 6 'The Geological Spieler', 'The Iron-Bark Chip' and 'The Loaded Dog'. Also includes suggestions for further reading.
Last amended 25 Jul 2013 16:59:00
Settings:
  • Australian Outback, Central Australia,
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X