The Drover's Wife single work   short story  
  • Author: Henry Lawson http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/lawson-henry
Issue Details: First known date: 1892 1892
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Adaptations

form y The Drover's Wife Australia : Australian Broadcasting Commission , 1968 8119244 1968 single work film/TV

'It is a simple story about a drover's wife, left alone with her four children for months on end while her husband is droving.

'Her only protection is her stout spirit and her cattle dog, Alligator.

'The story opens when, late one day, she sees a venomous snake disappear under the hut's bedroom floor. She goes into the kitchen, where there is a dirt floor–the bedroom has a slab floor with cracks a snake could slide through.

'The wife beds the children down on the table, builds up the fire in the stove, and with Alligator, a snake-killing cattle dog, keeps vigil through the night, waiting for the snake.

'As she sits by the fire she thinks, in filmed flashbacks, of what her life has been since she married.

'Eventually, in the early morning, the snake appears, she kills it, and life goes on again without drama.'

Source:

'Killing a Snake with Conviction', Australian Women's Weekly, 18 September 1968

The Drover's Wife Leah Purcell , 2016 single work drama

'If anyone can write a full-throttle drama of our colonial past, it’s the indomitable Leah Purcell.

'We all know Henry Lawson’s story of the Drover’s Wife. Her stoic silhouette against an unforgiving landscape, her staring down of the serpent; it’s the frontier myth captured in a few pages. In Leah’s new play the old story gets a very fresh rewrite. Once again the Drover’s Wife is confronted by a threat in her yard, but now it’s a man. He’s bleeding, he’s got secrets, and he’s black. She knows there’s a fugitive wanted for killing whites, and the district is thick with troopers, but something’s holding the Drover’s Wife back from turning this fella in…

'A taut thriller of our pioneering past, with a black sting to the tail, The Drover’s Wife reaches from our nation’s infancy into our complicated present. And best of all, Leah’s playing the Wife herself.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: Die Frau des Viehtreibers
Alternative title: Des Überländers Weib
Language: German

Works about this Work

'The Drover's Wife' : Celebrating or Demystifying Bush Mythology? Christine Texier-Vandamme , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth Essays and Studies , Spring vol. 38 no. 2 2016; (p. 73-81)
The essay aims to show the cultural, aesthetic and identificatory displacements at work in the successive revisions and reinterpretations of Henry Lawson's "drover's wife" figure who became a national icon right away. It is quite interesting to note the surprising abstract and bare nature of both the figure and the bush, even in Lawson's original short story. They seem to crystallize national character precisely because they leave it rather unspecified and open to interpretation, except as a struggle to cope with one's adopted land and the acceptance of possible failure.' (Publication abstract)
Is There an Australian Pastoral Poetry? Andrew Taylor , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Le Simplegadi , November no. 14 2015; (p. 38-51)
Pastoral was common as a European literary genre from the Renaissance until the eighteenth century. It existed in other artistic forms as well, especially in the visual arts, and after its demise as a distinct genre elements of it persisted into the twentieth century, for example in music. With the colonial spread of European culture the pastoral influence also extended into other countries, with a mixed fate. Recently, the term Pastoral has come back into prominence in literature in English, not only in Great Britain but also, notably in the USA and Australia, with the growth of writing motivated by ecological involvement with the natural world, especially landscape. This has led to re-definitions of the term Pastoral in the last few decades. A number of Australian poets are looked at to see whether, and how, their writing about landscape might relate to, or incorporate elements of the Pastoral. The Australian poet John Kinsella, in particular, has been a widely published spokesperson for a new definition of Pastoral. His published works trace his move from a politically activist anti-colonialist redefinition of Pastoral towards a quieter, more harmonious, and essentially ethical engagement with the natural world.
A Vintage Wine : The Drover's Wives Ryan O'Neill , 2014 single work prose
— Appears in: Seizure [Online] , June 2014;
Parable : The Drover's Wives Ryan O'Neill , 2014 single work prose
— Appears in: Seizure [Online] , June 2014;
Sporting Commentary The Drover’s Wife Vs. : The Black Snake Ryan O'Neill , 2014 single work prose
— Appears in: Seizure [Online] , June 2014;
Backwards : EfiW S'roverD EhT Ryan O'Neill , 2014 single work prose
— Appears in: Seizure [Online] , June 2014;
Amazon Customer Review : The Drover's Wives Ryan O'Neill , 2014 single work prose
— Appears in: Seizure [Online] , July 2014;
Lecture Slides : The Drover's Wives Ryan O'Neill , 2014 single work prose
— Appears in: Seizure [Online] , July 2014;
Pierre Menard Author of 'The Drover’s Wife' Ryan O'Neill , 2014 single work prose
— Appears in: Seizure [Online] , April 2014;
Postmodern Ryan O'Neill , 2014 single work prose
— Appears in: Seizure [Online] , April 2014;
‘English’ in the Australian Curriculum: English Robert Dixon , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: English in Australia , vol. 47 no. 1 2012; (p. 19-25)
'The author has been a consultant to the national curriculum process from its beginnings in 2008, first with the interim National Curriculum Board (NCB) and then with the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA). In this paper he offers an overview of how the English curriculum was developed, outlines some of the issues that proved to be most difficult and even controversial during the consultation period, then looks briefly at the English curriculum itself to reflect on how he thinks teachers might use it to develop their teaching materials. Finally, he returns to some of the differences that emerged between school and university teachers of English during the consultation phase and suggests some of the ways in which current academic research might contribute to curriculum content. The author argues that these differences raise what are essentially institutional problems that might best be addressed by improving the relationships between our respective peak professional bodies. (Author abstract)
Shakespeare and the Drover’s Wife : The Work of Women in the Australian Cultural Landscape Anna Kamaralli , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Studies , no. 4 2012;
'The Shakespeare Tercentenary Memorial Fund was established in Sydney in 1912, with the intention of raising money to erect a local memorial to Shakespeare on the three hundredth anniversary of his death. The fundraising events became in themselves an opportunity for colonial Australia to prove that this was a place that appreciated culture, and could create works of pageantry and art. Throughout the process, the women involved seized their own opportunity to prove themselves the equals of their men in their valuing of Shakespeare and willingness to work towards a shared goal.'
y The Bush Legend Roger Osborne , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2011 5972495 2011 single work criticism 'Since the nineteenth century, the legend of 'The Bush' has provided a powerful set of ideas, values and associations that continue to influence the way Australians think and talk about each other. The legend was promoted by a number of writers, historians and critics known as the radical nationalists. This group included Vance Palmer, Brian Fitzpatrick, Russel Ward and A. A. Phillips.These writers argue that bush life is central to the attitudes, values and traditions that many people regard as 'Australian' and that these qualities derive from the experience of nomadic bush workers such as shearers, swagmen and drovers. The images, ideas and arguments that you encounter in this Trail will help you to better understand the origins of this legend and the reasons why the legend continues to be a powerful force in the way Australians construct their identity. But in the selection of texts and audio-visual resources you will also encounter challenges to a dominant white male perpspective. The legend of the Bush is a complex idea that deserves close attention.'
(Source: Compiler's abstract)
From Tim Winton to ‘Tankman’ : Teaching Australian Literature to Chinese International Students. Jan Bailey , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Teaching Australian Literature : From Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings 2011; (p. 177-195)
Jan Baily writes on her experiences of teaching Australian literature to international students. Her teaching experience led her to conclude that ‘Australian texts can enrich the literary experience of our international students’ culturally, aesthetically and linguistically, and can help move them toward a more varied understanding of their unique experience in Australia, and in the world generally’. (p. 193)
The Outback Pablo Armellino , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Ob-Scene Spaces in Australian Narrative : An Account of the Socio-Topographic Construction of Space in Australian Literature 2009; (p. 57-188)
The Australian Dream : Visions and Revisions of 'New World' Futures Stephen Alomes , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Bernard Hickey, a Roving Cultural Ambassador : Essays in His Memory. 2009; (p. 33-49)
National Mythologies and Secret Histories: Faultlines in the Bark Hut in Some Recent Australian Fiction Carol Merli , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southern Postcolonialisms: The Global South and the 'New' Literary Representations 2009; (p. 205-217)
The Drovers' Wives Mandy Sayer , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 68 no. 2 2008; (p. 193-208)
Wet, in the Mindscape of the Dry: Water Tanks as Nature/Culture Signifiers C A Cranston , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Words on Water: Literary and Cultural Representations 2008; (p. 23-38)
The author investigates the impact of Australian literature and European attitudes on water conservation in Australia.
'The Drover's Wife' : Henry Lawson (1867-1922) Jane Gleeson-White , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Classics : Fifty Great Writers and Their Celebrated Works 2007; (p. 60-64)
Variations on 'The Drover's Wife' : A Textual, Contextual, Extra Textual Interplay Colette Selles , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Commonwealth , Autumn vol. 28 no. 1 2005; (p. 77-90)
Seminar on Henry Lawson Robert M. Slade , 1982 single work essay
— Appears in: IMP , September - December 1982; (p. 71) Looking Back (1988-1788) : The Bicentennial Book of the Rockhampton Writers' Club 1988; (p. 13)
Henry Lawson's Short Stories Michael Wilding , 1993 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Radical Tradition : Lawson, Furphy, Stead 1993; (p. 1-29)
'The Drover's Wife' : Henry Lawson (1867-1922) Jane Gleeson-White , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Classics : Fifty Great Writers and Their Celebrated Works 2007; (p. 60-64)
Henry Lawson's 'The Drover's Wife' and the Australian Short Story Liesel Hermes , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Global Fragments : (Dis)Orientation in the New World Order 2007; (p. 301-312)
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;
The Drovers' Wives Mandy Sayer , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 68 no. 2 2008; (p. 193-208)
Wet, in the Mindscape of the Dry: Water Tanks as Nature/Culture Signifiers C A Cranston , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Words on Water: Literary and Cultural Representations 2008; (p. 23-38)
The author investigates the impact of Australian literature and European attitudes on water conservation in Australia.
The Outback Pablo Armellino , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Ob-Scene Spaces in Australian Narrative : An Account of the Socio-Topographic Construction of Space in Australian Literature 2009; (p. 57-188)
The Australian Dream : Visions and Revisions of 'New World' Futures Stephen Alomes , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Bernard Hickey, a Roving Cultural Ambassador : Essays in His Memory. 2009; (p. 33-49)
Henry Lawson : The Drover's Wife and The Loaded Dog Colin Thiele , 1964 single work column
— Appears in: Handbook to Favourite Australian Stories 1964; (p. 7-10)
y The Bush Legend Roger Osborne , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2011 5972495 2011 single work criticism 'Since the nineteenth century, the legend of 'The Bush' has provided a powerful set of ideas, values and associations that continue to influence the way Australians think and talk about each other. The legend was promoted by a number of writers, historians and critics known as the radical nationalists. This group included Vance Palmer, Brian Fitzpatrick, Russel Ward and A. A. Phillips.These writers argue that bush life is central to the attitudes, values and traditions that many people regard as 'Australian' and that these qualities derive from the experience of nomadic bush workers such as shearers, swagmen and drovers. The images, ideas and arguments that you encounter in this Trail will help you to better understand the origins of this legend and the reasons why the legend continues to be a powerful force in the way Australians construct their identity. But in the selection of texts and audio-visual resources you will also encounter challenges to a dominant white male perpspective. The legend of the Bush is a complex idea that deserves close attention.'
(Source: Compiler's abstract)
From Tim Winton to ‘Tankman’ : Teaching Australian Literature to Chinese International Students. Jan Bailey , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Teaching Australian Literature : From Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings 2011; (p. 177-195)
Jan Baily writes on her experiences of teaching Australian literature to international students. Her teaching experience led her to conclude that ‘Australian texts can enrich the literary experience of our international students’ culturally, aesthetically and linguistically, and can help move them toward a more varied understanding of their unique experience in Australia, and in the world generally’. (p. 193)
National Mythologies and Secret Histories: Faultlines in the Bark Hut in Some Recent Australian Fiction Carol Merli , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southern Postcolonialisms: The Global South and the 'New' Literary Representations 2009; (p. 205-217)
‘English’ in the Australian Curriculum: English Robert Dixon , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: English in Australia , vol. 47 no. 1 2012; (p. 19-25)
'The author has been a consultant to the national curriculum process from its beginnings in 2008, first with the interim National Curriculum Board (NCB) and then with the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA). In this paper he offers an overview of how the English curriculum was developed, outlines some of the issues that proved to be most difficult and even controversial during the consultation period, then looks briefly at the English curriculum itself to reflect on how he thinks teachers might use it to develop their teaching materials. Finally, he returns to some of the differences that emerged between school and university teachers of English during the consultation phase and suggests some of the ways in which current academic research might contribute to curriculum content. The author argues that these differences raise what are essentially institutional problems that might best be addressed by improving the relationships between our respective peak professional bodies. (Author abstract)
Towards a New Geography: Body of Women, Body of the World Veronica Brady , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: Constructing gender : feminism and literary studies 1994; (p. 287-301)
Inside the Deserted Hut : The Representation of Motherhood in Bush Mythology Sue Rowley , 1989 single work criticism
— Appears in: Westerly , December vol. 34 no. 4 1989; (p. 76-95)
Rowley argues that the idea of motherhood expressed in the texts of bush mythology is ambivalent and unresolved. The presentation of domestic space has a pronounced influence on the idea of motherhood constructed in the stories under discussion. But, the representation of motherhood in bush mythology has been excluded "from the myths by which Australians have sought to construct an identity".
'Mother I Won't Never Go Drovin'' : Motherhood in Australian Narrative Delys Bird , 1989 single work criticism
— Appears in: Westerly , December vol. 34 no. 4 1989; (p. 41-50)
Setting Up an Australian Literature Course: Some Conceptual and Practical Reflections Werner Senn , 1986 single work criticism
— Appears in: Diversity Itself : Essays in Australian Arts and Culture 1986; (p. 63-75)
The Drover's Wife Barbara Jefferis , 1980 single work short story satire
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 23-30 December vol. 101 no. 5243 1980; (p. 156-160) Heroines : A Contemporary Anthology of Australian Women Writers 1991; (p. 31-41) Images of Australia : An Introductory Reader in Australian Studies 1992; (p. 166-176) Hope and Fear : An Anthology of South Australian Women's Writing, 1894-1994 1994; (p. 282-291) The Arnold Anthology of Post-Colonial Literatures in English 1996; (p. 265-272)
Last amended 14 Oct 2016 11:32:03
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