2832126976546398717.jpg
Cover image courtesy of publisher.
y The Commandant single work   novel   historical fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 1975 1975
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The Commandant (1975) evolves from the history of the early Moreton Bay penal settlement, now Brisbane. When prisoners escape from Moreton Bay to Sydney with their stories of harsh punishment, the fledgling press takes their side. Commandant Logan, convinced of the rectitude of his severe administration, is faced with an enemy he has never known before, but he ignores it. Logan is forced to face the reaction to his harsh discipline after the arrival of his young sister-in-law, Frances, who is unable to bear the brutality and whippings that are everyday life in Moreton Bay. The reader is left with the question, who is the prisoner: convict, or harsh commandant.' (Source: Sydney University Press)

Notes

  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Macmillan , 1975 .
      Extent: 320p.
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      St. Martin's Press , 1975 .
      Alternative title: A Novel of an Early Australian Penal Station
      Extent: 320p.
    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 1981 .
      Alternative title: A Novel of Corrupted Power and Savage Justice
      Extent: 303p.
      ISBN: 0140059105
    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Sydney University Press , 2009 .
      Extent: ix, 326p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Delys Bird.
      • Includes bibliography.
      ISBN: 9781920898946
      Series: y Australian Classics Library Bruce Bennett (editor), Robert Dixon (editor), Sydney University Press (publisher), Sydney : Sydney University Press , 2009- Z1613164 2009 series - publisher novel poetry short story

      The Australian Classics Library series is intended 'to make classic texts of Australian literature more widely available for the secondary school and undergraduate university classroom, and to the general reader. The series is co-edited by Emeritus Professor Bruce Bennett of the University of New South Wales and Professor Robert Dixon, Professor of Australian Literature at the University of Sydney, in conjunction with SETIS, Sydney University Press, AustLit and the Copyright Agency Limited. Each text is accompanied by a fresh scholarly introduction and a basic editorial apparatus drawn from the resources of AustLit.'

      Source: Sydney University Press website, http://www.sup.usyd.edu.au/
      Sighted: 11/08/2009

    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2012 .
      2832126976546398717.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: xiii, 457p.p.
      Note/s:
      ISBN: 9781921922138 (pbk.)
      Series: y Text Classics Text Publishing (publisher), Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012- Z1851461 2012 series - publisher novel 'Great books by great Australian storytellers.' (Text website.)

Works about this Work

The Case for The Commandant by Jessica Anderson Claire Corbett , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Conversation , 18 September 2014;

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
The Tales of Strangers Carmen Callil , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kill Your Darlings , July no. 10 2012; (p. 61-66)
'Frances O'Beirne, the young heroine of The Commandant (1975), offers a key to the genius of Jessica Anderson: 'I am made up of hundreds of persons, and I never know which will come out.' Open Anderson's eight published works of fiction and you'll be presented with different worlds, all-encompassing, entirely absorbing, real.' (Author's introduction)
“Cranford at Moreton Bay”: Jessica Anderson’s The Commandant Susan Sheridan , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 72 no. 1 2012; (p. 121-135)
'The Commandant (1975) is an underrated work, not only in relation to Jessica Anderson's oeuvre but also in the wider context of Australian literature. This novel, set in the Moreton Bay penal station in 1830, appeared at a time when a number of significant historical novels, like Patrick White's A Fringe of Leaves, Thomas Keneally's The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and Thea Astley's A Kindness Cup were challenging central myths of white settlement in Australia (Sheridan, 7-20). Among convict novels it stands out on account of its focus on the gaolers as themselves prisoners of the penal system, and in particular on the middle-class women whose lives were defined by their involvement in that system, through their menfolk. (Author's abstract)
Untitled Nikki Lusk , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 23)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
Historical Novels Challenging the National Story Susan Sheridan , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: History Australia , vol. 8 no. 2 2011;
'Historical novels dealing with the colonial past have always played a key role in constructing popular understandings of the national story in Australia, whether by reinforcing its legends or challenging them. In recent debates historical fiction's claims to authority have been perceived as competing with the work of historical scholars. By considering two such novels of the 1970s, Jessica Anderson's The Commandant and Thea Astley's A Kindness Cup, this essay offers a historical perspective on some questions of the relationship between historical novels and historical scholarship.' (Editor's abstract)
The Wide Brown Land : Literary Readings of Space and the Australian Continent Anthony J. Hassall , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australia : Making Space Meaningful 2007; (p. 45-53)
'In his 1987 poem "Louvres" Les Murray speaks of journeys to 'the three quarters of our continent/set aside for mystic poetry" (2002, 239), a very different reading of Australia's inner space to A.D. Hope's 1939 vision of it as '[t]he Arabian desert of the human mind" (1966, 13) In this paper I review the opposed, contradictory ways in which the inner space of Australia has been perceived by Australian writers, and note changes in those literary perceptions, especially in the last fifty years. In that time what was routinely categerised, by Patrick White among others, as the "Dead heart" (1974, 94) - the disappointing desert encountered by nineteenth=century European explorers looking for another America -has been re-mythologised as the "Red Centre," the symbolic, living heart of the continent. What Barcroft Boake's 1897 poem hauntingly portrayed as out where the dead men lie" (140,-2) is now more commonly imagined as a site of spiritual exploration and psychic renewal, a place where Aboriginal identification with the land is respected and even shared. This change was powerfully symbolised in 1985 by the return to the traditional Anangu owners of the title deeds to the renamed Uluru, the great stone sited at the centre of the continent; but while this re-mythologising has been increasingly influential in literary readings, older, more negative constructions of that space as hostile and sterile have persisted, so that contradictory attitudes towards the inner space of Australia continue to be expressed. In reviewing a selection of those readings, I am conscious that they both distort and influence broader cultural perceptions. I am also aware that literary reconstructions of the past reflect both the attitudes of the time depicted and the current attitudes of the writer, and that separating the two is seldom simple. Finally, I am conscious of the connections between literary readings and those in art and film of the kind documented by Roslynn Hanes in her 1998 study Seeking the Centre: the Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film, and those in television and advertising. I have however, with the exception of the Postscript, limited my paper to literary readings, with an emphasis on works published since Haynes's study.' (Author's abstract p. 45)
Turning Up the Heat on the 'Warm Zone': A Novel Reading of Jessica Anderson's Queensland Jane Gilpin , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: Imago : New Writing , vol. 12 no. 2 2000; (p. 32-44)
y Fabricating the Self : The Fictions of Jessica Anderson Elaine Barry , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1996 Z509037 1996 single work criticism
Jessica Anderson : "The Commandant" Sue Woolfe , Kate Grenville , 1993 single work criticism
— Appears in: Making Stories : How Ten Australian Novels Were Written 1993; (p. 1-32)
Jessica Anderson : Interview Daniel R. Willbanks (interviewer), 1992 single work interview
— Appears in: Speaking Volumes : Australian Writers and Their Work 1992; (p. 15-25)
y Your Place or Mine : Marginalisation and Place in Three Novels by Jessica Anderson : A Dissertation Susan Sophia Pritchard , Brisbane : 1989 Z1589582 1989 single work thesis
Untitled Debra Adelaide , 1989 single work review
— Appears in: The Good Reading Guide 1989; (p. 7-8)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
Untitled Kerryn Goldsworthy , 1989 single work review
— Appears in: The Good Reading Guide 1989; (p. 8)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
Untitled Gay Raines , 1989 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Studies , December no. 3 1989; (p. 81-88)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel ; Stories from the Warm Zone and Sydney Stories Jessica Anderson 1987 selected work short story autobiography
The Strength to be Me : The Protagonist in the Fiction of Jessica Anderson Daniel R. Willbanks , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Span , October no. 27 1988; (p. 58-63)
Jessica Anderson Candida Baker (interviewer), 1987 single work biography interview
— Appears in: Yacker 2 : Australian Writers Talk About Their Work 1987; (p. 14-27)
Jessica Anderson : Arrivals and Places Alrene Sykes , 1986 single work
— Appears in: Southerly , March vol. 46 no. 1 1986; (p. 57-71)
The Expatriate Vision of Jessica Anderson Elaine Barry , 1984 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: Meridian , May vol. 3 no. 1 1984; (p. 3-11)
Old Moreton Bay Brought to Life Hope Hewitt , 1982 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 June 1982; (p. 8)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
The Enigma of Captain Logan Donat Gallagher , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , December vol. 38 no. 4 1978; (p. 477)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
Untitled Nikki Lusk , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 23)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
The Enigma of Captain Logan Donat Gallagher , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , December vol. 38 no. 4 1978; (p. 477)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
Old Moreton Bay Brought to Life Hope Hewitt , 1982 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 June 1982; (p. 8)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
Untitled Debra Adelaide , 1989 single work review
— Appears in: The Good Reading Guide 1989; (p. 7-8)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
Untitled Kerryn Goldsworthy , 1989 single work review
— Appears in: The Good Reading Guide 1989; (p. 8)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
Untitled Gay Raines , 1989 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Studies , December no. 3 1989; (p. 81-88)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel ; Stories from the Warm Zone and Sydney Stories Jessica Anderson 1987 selected work short story autobiography
Working Beasts of Moreton Bay Judah Waten , 1975 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Morning Herald , 27 December 1975; (p. 13)

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel ; Toby's Angel : A Novel James Cowan 1975 single work novel ; The Queenslander Robert Macklin 1975 single work novel
The Case for The Commandant by Jessica Anderson Claire Corbett , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Conversation , 18 September 2014;

— Review of The Commandant Jessica Anderson 1975 single work novel
y Your Place or Mine : Marginalisation and Place in Three Novels by Jessica Anderson : A Dissertation Susan Sophia Pritchard , Brisbane : 1989 Z1589582 1989 single work thesis
The Wide Brown Land : Literary Readings of Space and the Australian Continent Anthony J. Hassall , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australia : Making Space Meaningful 2007; (p. 45-53)
'In his 1987 poem "Louvres" Les Murray speaks of journeys to 'the three quarters of our continent/set aside for mystic poetry" (2002, 239), a very different reading of Australia's inner space to A.D. Hope's 1939 vision of it as '[t]he Arabian desert of the human mind" (1966, 13) In this paper I review the opposed, contradictory ways in which the inner space of Australia has been perceived by Australian writers, and note changes in those literary perceptions, especially in the last fifty years. In that time what was routinely categerised, by Patrick White among others, as the "Dead heart" (1974, 94) - the disappointing desert encountered by nineteenth=century European explorers looking for another America -has been re-mythologised as the "Red Centre," the symbolic, living heart of the continent. What Barcroft Boake's 1897 poem hauntingly portrayed as out where the dead men lie" (140,-2) is now more commonly imagined as a site of spiritual exploration and psychic renewal, a place where Aboriginal identification with the land is respected and even shared. This change was powerfully symbolised in 1985 by the return to the traditional Anangu owners of the title deeds to the renamed Uluru, the great stone sited at the centre of the continent; but while this re-mythologising has been increasingly influential in literary readings, older, more negative constructions of that space as hostile and sterile have persisted, so that contradictory attitudes towards the inner space of Australia continue to be expressed. In reviewing a selection of those readings, I am conscious that they both distort and influence broader cultural perceptions. I am also aware that literary reconstructions of the past reflect both the attitudes of the time depicted and the current attitudes of the writer, and that separating the two is seldom simple. Finally, I am conscious of the connections between literary readings and those in art and film of the kind documented by Roslynn Hanes in her 1998 study Seeking the Centre: the Australian Desert in Literature, Art and Film, and those in television and advertising. I have however, with the exception of the Postscript, limited my paper to literary readings, with an emphasis on works published since Haynes's study.' (Author's abstract p. 45)
Historical Novels Challenging the National Story Susan Sheridan , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: History Australia , vol. 8 no. 2 2011;
'Historical novels dealing with the colonial past have always played a key role in constructing popular understandings of the national story in Australia, whether by reinforcing its legends or challenging them. In recent debates historical fiction's claims to authority have been perceived as competing with the work of historical scholars. By considering two such novels of the 1970s, Jessica Anderson's The Commandant and Thea Astley's A Kindness Cup, this essay offers a historical perspective on some questions of the relationship between historical novels and historical scholarship.' (Editor's abstract)
The Tales of Strangers Carmen Callil , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kill Your Darlings , July no. 10 2012; (p. 61-66)
'Frances O'Beirne, the young heroine of The Commandant (1975), offers a key to the genius of Jessica Anderson: 'I am made up of hundreds of persons, and I never know which will come out.' Open Anderson's eight published works of fiction and you'll be presented with different worlds, all-encompassing, entirely absorbing, real.' (Author's introduction)
“Cranford at Moreton Bay”: Jessica Anderson’s The Commandant Susan Sheridan , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 72 no. 1 2012; (p. 121-135)
'The Commandant (1975) is an underrated work, not only in relation to Jessica Anderson's oeuvre but also in the wider context of Australian literature. This novel, set in the Moreton Bay penal station in 1830, appeared at a time when a number of significant historical novels, like Patrick White's A Fringe of Leaves, Thomas Keneally's The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith and Thea Astley's A Kindness Cup were challenging central myths of white settlement in Australia (Sheridan, 7-20). Among convict novels it stands out on account of its focus on the gaolers as themselves prisoners of the penal system, and in particular on the middle-class women whose lives were defined by their involvement in that system, through their menfolk. (Author's abstract)
Jessica Anderson : "The Commandant" Sue Woolfe , Kate Grenville , 1993 single work criticism
— Appears in: Making Stories : How Ten Australian Novels Were Written 1993; (p. 1-32)
Jessica Anderson Candida Baker (interviewer), 1987 single work biography interview
— Appears in: Yacker 2 : Australian Writers Talk About Their Work 1987; (p. 14-27)
Jessica Anderson : Interview Daniel R. Willbanks (interviewer), 1992 single work interview
— Appears in: Speaking Volumes : Australian Writers and Their Work 1992; (p. 15-25)
The Strength to be Me : The Protagonist in the Fiction of Jessica Anderson Daniel R. Willbanks , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Span , October no. 27 1988; (p. 58-63)
Jessica Anderson : Arrivals and Places Alrene Sykes , 1986 single work
— Appears in: Southerly , March vol. 46 no. 1 1986; (p. 57-71)
The Expatriate Vision of Jessica Anderson Elaine Barry , 1984 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: Meridian , May vol. 3 no. 1 1984; (p. 3-11)
y Fabricating the Self : The Fictions of Jessica Anderson Elaine Barry , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1996 Z509037 1996 single work criticism
Turning Up the Heat on the 'Warm Zone': A Novel Reading of Jessica Anderson's Queensland Jane Gilpin , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: Imago : New Writing , vol. 12 no. 2 2000; (p. 32-44)
Last amended 17 Jun 2014 13:08:27
Subjects:
  • Coast,
  • Moreton Bay, Brisbane - South East, Brisbane, Queensland,
Settings:
  • 1830s
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