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Title page of the first edition
y A Mother's Offering to Her Children selected work   prose   poetry   children's  
Note: Originally attributed to Lady Bremer, wife of Sir James John Gordon Bremer, in J.A. Ferguson's Bibliography of Australia. More recently attributed to Charlotte Barton in Marcie Muir's Charlotte Barton : Australia's First Children's Author (Sydney : Wentworth Books, 1980).
First known date: 1841 Issue Details: First known date: 1841 1841
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Takes the form of a dialogue in which the mother of the title, Mrs Saville, talks to her four children, Clara, Emma, Julius and Lucy as they sit together each evening. The children ask their mother questions which lead to narratives about shipwreck, station life and Australian flora and fauna, interspersed with moral lessons for the children.

Notes

  • The first children's book published in Australia.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Milton, Milton - Toowong area, Brisbane - North West, Brisbane, Queensland,: Jacaranda Press , 1979 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Introduction, Rosemary Wighton , 1841-1979 single work criticism (p. vii-xiii)
Extraordinary Sounds, A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. [1]-21)
Wreck of the 'Charles Eaton', A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. [22]-84)
The History of the Swallows, A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. 85-90)
The Purple Beetle, A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. 91-100)
Joseph Forbes, A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. 101-136)
Port Essington, A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. 137-157)
Timor, A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. 158-160)
Sea Shells, A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. 161-169)
Loss of the "Stirling Castle", A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. 170-183)
A Visit to an Iron Mine, A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. 184-190)
Copper Mine, A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. 190-196)
Anecdotes of the Aborigines of New South Wales, A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work prose children's (p. 197-214)
Lines Written During a Storm in the Bay of Biscayi"Almighty God, by whose command,", A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales , 1841 single work poetry children's (p. 215-216)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Traversing the Unfamiliar : German Translations of Aboriginality in James Vance Marshall’s The Children and Phillip Gwynne’s Deadly Unna? and Nukkin Ya Leah Gerber , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 14 no. 1 2014;

'The tendency for Western cultures to emphasise imperial attitudes and experiences in their literature has been described by Edward Said as the primary means by which colonised people assert their identity and the existence of their own history (xii). The tradition of Australian children’s literature, which first grew out of contributions made by European colonisers and largely ignored any indigenous past has been referred to as a “product of colonial history” (Bradford, “Representing Indigeneity” 90) and “a shamelessly racist catalogue of prejudice and misinformation, of superficial clichés, offensive stereotyping and entirely subjective interpretation” (McVitty 7). Historians Robert Hodge and Vijay Mishra use the term Aboriginalism – a variation of Said’s notion of Orientalism – to describe the way in which colonial powers traditionally constructed ideas about the colonised other within patterns of discourse, aptly masking their racist objective and appearing to function constructively (27).

'Focusing on three Australian children’s texts translated into German, this paper examines how the notion of Aboriginality – at different points in time – is presented in the source text and dealt with in translation. While consideration of the purpose – the skopos (Vermeer 1989/2004) – of the translation forming the backbone of contemporary translation theory, the so-called aims of children’s literary translation also cast an important light on the way in which translation strategies are informed. Furthering the international outlook and understanding of young readers remains the most commonly agreed-upon objective of children’s literary translation. In real terms, the execution of this aim often comes down to the decision to foreignise or domesticate. The problem, as translator Anthea Bell writes, is that “one wants readers of the translated text to feel that they are getting the real book, as close as possible to the original”, but which – vitally – includes respecting the foreign aspects of the source text (62). Yet translators of children’s literature (unlike translators of adult literature) have the added challenge of having to negotiate a variety of what Katharina Reiss calls ‘Vermittlerinstanzen’ (intermediaries): parents, teachers, librarians and publishers, who place pressure on the translator (in regards to taboos and pedagogical aspects of the text), so much so that the outcome (i.e. the target text) is affected (7).' (Publication abstract)

Historic Kids' Book Is a Rare Offering Liz Walsh , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 11 May 2013; (p. 17)
Heirs of Immortality Kate Forsyth , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of The Children's Book Council of Australia , February vol. 56 no. 1 2012; (p. 2-5)
Kate Forsyth provides an account of the life of her great-great-great-great-great grandmother, Charlotte Waring, the author of A Mother's Offerings to her Children.
Unearthed Australiana Could Fetch $90,0000 Steve Meacham , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 26 May 2011; (p. 9)
A Mother's Offering Kate Forsyth , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , May vol. 26 no. 2 2011; (p. 18-20)
Forsyth commemorates the 170th anniversary of Australia's first children's book.
In Praise of an Enchantress Kate Forsyth , 2011 single work biography
— Appears in: Australian Author , December vol. 43 no. 4 2011; (p. 13-15)
Kate Forsyth chronicles the story of the mysterious 'lady' who wrote Australia's first children's book.
Writing for Kids and Young Adults Kate Forsyth , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: Newswrite : The NSW Writers' Centre Magazine , December 2011 - January 2012 no. 200 2011; (p. 8)
Australian Children's Literature Clare Bradford , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Cambridge History of Australian Literature 2009; (p. 282-302)
Discusses themes, trends and developments in Australian children's literature between 1841 and 2006.
y Bush, City, Cyberspace : The Development of Australian Children's Literature into the Twenty-First Century John Foster , E. J. Finnis , Maureen Nimon , Wagga Wagga : Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University , 2005 Z1508775 2005 single work criticism (taught in 7 units) Provides a snapshot of the state of Australian children's and adolescent literature in the early twenty-first century, and an insight into its history, promoting a sense of where Australian literature for young people may be going. Written by the same three authors published for information studies in 1995.
A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales : An Encounter Libby Gleeson , 2001 single work essay
— Appears in: Storykeepers 2001; (p. 47-55)
y Charlotte Barton : Australia's First Writer for Children Dinny Culican-Ward , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2009 Z972629 2001 single work criticism
"Providence Designed It for a Settlement" : Religious Discourses and Australian Colonial Texts Clare Bradford , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Children's Literature Association Quarterly , Spring vol. 24 no. 1 (p. 4-14)
y Fading to Black : Aboriginal Children in Colonial Texts Clare Bradford , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2009 Z978090 1999 single work criticism Bradford identifies the discursive and narrative strategies involved in the representations of Aboriginal children in nineteenth century children's texts and argues that, 'white child readers are interpellated by colonial texts' to view the mixing or hybridization of identities as an 'ambiguous and threatening possibility (14). Bradford critiques the inherently 'ideological work' that permeates white representations of Aboriginality and in particular, the representation of Aboriginal children as 'hybrid grotesques' which threaten 'racial purity' (15) and who 'wilfuly reject the advantages of civilisation' (20). For Bradford, the Aboriginal children in these colonial texts carry a 'range of significances', all of which 'offer the white child readers absolution from colonial guilt by naturalizing the deaths of individual Aboriginal children and Aborigines collectively' (29). She concludes that it is the obsessive and visible linking of death and Aboriginality that discloses racial anxieties about the legitamacy of Australian nationhood (29).
Editorial Clare Bradford , 1998 single work column
— Appears in: Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature , August vol. 8 no. 2 1998; (p. 3-4)
Bradford introduces this edition of Papers by engaging with Peter Hunt's representation of current research and teaching practices in children's literature. Drawing attention to the binarized approach which frames Hunt's descriptions, Bradford argues that Hunt tends to over-generalize and oversimplify the variety and scope of children's literature scholarship, stating '...the study of boooks of the past, far from being 'essentially abstract and inward looking' (Hunt, 202), is capable of informing our understanding of the practices, ideologies and cultural formations which produced these books and which teach us about the implied child reader...' (4). Bradford challenges Hunt's categorisation with a short but concise discussion of A Mother's Offering to Her Children (1841).
y The Wise Colonial Child: Imperial Discourse in 'A Mother's Offering to Her Children' Clare Bradford , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2009 Z61685 1997 single work criticism
y Representing Indigeneity : Aborigines and Australian Children's Literature Then and Now Clare Bradford , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2009 Z926051 1997 single work criticism Examines some changes that have occurred over time in the representations of Aboriginal people in a selection of children’s literary texts.
Changing Perspectives : The Implied Reader in Australian Children's Literature 1841-1994 H. M. Saxby , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Children's Literature in Education , March vol. 26 no. 1 1995; (p. 25-38)
You've Come a Long Way, Baby : Multicultural Literature for Children Wendy Morgan , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Journal of Language and Literacy , November vol. 18 no. 4 1995; (p. 270-281)
A Mother's Offering to Her Children and Other Children's Books in the 1840's Victor Crittenden , 1993 single work column
— Appears in: The Lu Rees Archives Notes, Books and authors , no. 15 1993; (p. 9-11)
The Portrayal of Aboriginal Life in Australian Children's Books , 1993 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Children's Literature : Finding a Voice 1993; (p. 55-68)
Another Mystery Solved; or, Ferguson Corrected Elizabeth Webby , 1981 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , September vol. 41 no. 3 1981; (p. 363-364)

— Review of A Mother's Offering to Her Children A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales 1841 selected work prose poetry ; Charlotte Barton : Australia's First Children's Author Marcie Muir 1980 single work criticism biography
A Mother's Offering to Her Children and Other Children's Books in the 1840's Victor Crittenden , 1993 single work column
— Appears in: The Lu Rees Archives Notes, Books and authors , no. 15 1993; (p. 9-11)
y Bush, City, Cyberspace : The Development of Australian Children's Literature into the Twenty-First Century John Foster , E. J. Finnis , Maureen Nimon , Wagga Wagga : Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University , 2005 Z1508775 2005 single work criticism (taught in 7 units) Provides a snapshot of the state of Australian children's and adolescent literature in the early twenty-first century, and an insight into its history, promoting a sense of where Australian literature for young people may be going. Written by the same three authors published for information studies in 1995.
Changing Perspectives : The Implied Reader in Australian Children's Literature 1841-1994 H. M. Saxby , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Children's Literature in Education , March vol. 26 no. 1 1995; (p. 25-38)
"Providence Designed It for a Settlement" : Religious Discourses and Australian Colonial Texts Clare Bradford , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: Children's Literature Association Quarterly , Spring vol. 24 no. 1 (p. 4-14)
You've Come a Long Way, Baby : Multicultural Literature for Children Wendy Morgan , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Journal of Language and Literacy , November vol. 18 no. 4 1995; (p. 270-281)
Australian Children's Literature Clare Bradford , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Cambridge History of Australian Literature 2009; (p. 282-302)
Discusses themes, trends and developments in Australian children's literature between 1841 and 2006.
Unearthed Australiana Could Fetch $90,0000 Steve Meacham , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 26 May 2011; (p. 9)
A Mother's Offering Kate Forsyth , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Magpies : Talking About Books for Children , May vol. 26 no. 2 2011; (p. 18-20)
Forsyth commemorates the 170th anniversary of Australia's first children's book.
In Praise of an Enchantress Kate Forsyth , 2011 single work biography
— Appears in: Australian Author , December vol. 43 no. 4 2011; (p. 13-15)
Kate Forsyth chronicles the story of the mysterious 'lady' who wrote Australia's first children's book.
Writing for Kids and Young Adults Kate Forsyth , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: Newswrite : The NSW Writers' Centre Magazine , December 2011 - January 2012 no. 200 2011; (p. 8)
The Portrayal of Aboriginal Life in Australian Children's Books , 1993 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Children's Literature : Finding a Voice 1993; (p. 55-68)
Heirs of Immortality Kate Forsyth , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of The Children's Book Council of Australia , February vol. 56 no. 1 2012; (p. 2-5)
Kate Forsyth provides an account of the life of her great-great-great-great-great grandmother, Charlotte Waring, the author of A Mother's Offerings to her Children.
y The Wise Colonial Child: Imperial Discourse in 'A Mother's Offering to Her Children' Clare Bradford , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2009 Z61685 1997 single work criticism
y Charlotte Barton : Australia's First Children's Author Marcie Muir , Sydney : The Wentworth Press , 1980 Z493468 1980 single work criticism biography
y Representing Indigeneity : Aborigines and Australian Children's Literature Then and Now Clare Bradford , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2009 Z926051 1997 single work criticism Examines some changes that have occurred over time in the representations of Aboriginal people in a selection of children’s literary texts.
Introduction Rosemary Wighton , 1841-1979 single work criticism
— Appears in: A Mother's Offering to Her Children 1979; (p. vii-xiii)
"A Mother's Offering" and the Enigma of its Authorship Loma Rudduck , 1980 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Time : The Journal of the Children's Book Council of Australia , April no. 75 1980; (p. 4-5)
A Lady Long Resident in New South Wales : An Encounter Libby Gleeson , 2001 single work essay
— Appears in: Storykeepers 2001; (p. 47-55)
y Charlotte Barton : Australia's First Writer for Children Dinny Culican-Ward , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2009 Z972629 2001 single work criticism
Editorial Clare Bradford , 1998 single work column
— Appears in: Papers : Explorations into Children's Literature , August vol. 8 no. 2 1998; (p. 3-4)
Bradford introduces this edition of Papers by engaging with Peter Hunt's representation of current research and teaching practices in children's literature. Drawing attention to the binarized approach which frames Hunt's descriptions, Bradford argues that Hunt tends to over-generalize and oversimplify the variety and scope of children's literature scholarship, stating '...the study of boooks of the past, far from being 'essentially abstract and inward looking' (Hunt, 202), is capable of informing our understanding of the practices, ideologies and cultural formations which produced these books and which teach us about the implied child reader...' (4). Bradford challenges Hunt's categorisation with a short but concise discussion of A Mother's Offering to Her Children (1841).
Last amended 28 Apr 2015 14:25:36
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