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Image sourced from the University of Sydney, Fisher Library
y The Secret of the Australian Desert single work   children's fiction   children's   adventure  
Alternative title: The Burning Mountain of the Interior
Issue Details: First known date: 1890 1890
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Initially written for The Queenslander as The Burning Mountain of the Interior, this 'Australian tale of adventure' sees a party of explorers travel into the desert in search of gold, some alleged hot springs, and a volcano. The group also hopes to discover the fate of Ludwig Leichhardt expedition. 'After some travail, they discover an unknown race located in a fine-looking country commanding vast gold reserves. The members of this race are distinct from the Aborigines around them, and constitute the degraded remnants of an ancient civilisation once occupying the Australian interior. By the end of the novel, this unknown race is destroyed by [the] erupting volcano, and the explorers are left to inherit their wealth of gold.'

Source: Bellanta, Fabulating the Australian Desert.

Notes

  • Some critics consider Secret of the Australian Desert as falling within the boundaries of science fiction. Graham Stone effectively disputes this in Notes on Australian Science Fiction, however, writing:

    There are besides some unusual cave paintings and bother traces of old Asian colony in central Australia including a well builkt tomb and some unidentified writing and metal objects. But the colonist vare long gone and the mystery unresolved. Not actually a lost civilisation plot (since they're no longer there to be found), much less science fiction (p.98).
  • The conclusion of the third part of the Queenslander serialisation records: 'Here ends the The Burning Mountain of the Interior. The sequel to it - The Mystery of the Pocket-book and What it Led To' - will be commenced next week (29 March 1890, p.594).

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: The Burning Mountain of the Interior
Serialised by: The Queenslander 1866 newspaper (2586 issues)
      1890 .
      Note/s:
      • Serialised in three weekly instalments between 15 and 29 March 1890.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Blackie , 1895 .
      Link: Full text document Digital copy of 1896 edition. See copyright information on site for any usage restrictions. Link: Full text document AustLit Full Text Link: Full text PDF
      Extent: 223p.
      Reprinted: 1896 , 1900 , 1910 , 1917 , 1938

Works about this Work

Beyond Nation? Ludwig Leichhardt’s Transnationalism Katrina Schlunke , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Coolabah , no. 13 2014; (p. 157-178)

'Inspired by the conference theme of ‘Looking Back to Look Forward’ this paper examines the multiple ways in which the Prussian explorer of northern Australia, Ludwig Leichhardt, provides possible new directions for rethinking contemporary concepts such as transnationalism and nationalism. While the paper in its genealogical fashion assumes that the past is not simply available to us to be looked upon but rather is made to appear to us through various, material and ideological productions; it is still inspired by the possibility that re-imagining the past in the present can produce alternative and better futures. ' (Author's abstract)

Leichhardt after Leichhardt Andrew W. Hurley , Katrina Schlunke , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , vol. 37 no. 4 2013; (p. 537-543)

In this essay, the authors review 'a selection of the more influential writings about Leichhardt to demonstrate both the enduring

interest in his life and the vastly different perspectives held in the texts.' (537)

Britishness and Australian Popular Fiction : From the Mid-Nineteenth to the Mid-Twentieth Centuries Hsu-Ming Teo , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sold by the Millions : Australia's Bestsellers 2012; (p. 46-66)
'The analysis offered here is [...], a panoptic perspective of the tangled skeins of literary imagination and imitation, gender and genre requirements, editorial control, market considerations and the sheer economics of the international book trade that knotted Australian popular literature into the cultural and economic fabric of the British empire.' (47)
Ernest Favenc: Less Known as Nineteenth-Century Australian Children's Author Geoffrey Burkhardt , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Lu Rees Archives Notes, Books and Authors , no. 33 2011; (p. 6-9)
'Ernest Favenc (1845-1908) is far better remebered as an historian, short story writer and explorer in northern and western Australia than as an author of a number of popular children's books.'
Australian Science Fiction : In Search of the 'Feel' Dorotta Guttfeld , 2007-2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Australienstudien , no. 21-22 2007-2008; (p. 65-72)
Lemuria and Australian Dreams of an Inland Sea Michael Cathcart , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Lemuria , Winter vol. 1 no. 1 2006; (p. 32-47)
Cathcart reads a range of 'Lemurian novels,' examining their 'uncomplicated optimism about the future of White Australia, their trust that the key to that future lay beneath the earth, in the Great Australian Basin, and their attempts to grapple with the deadly impact of colonisation on the Aborigines who resisted' (44).
Fabulating the Australian Desert : Australia's Lost Race Romances, 1890-1908 Melissa Bellanta , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Philament , April no. 3 2004;
Dead White Male Heroes : Ludwig Leichhardt and Ned Kelly in Australian Fictions Susan K. Martin , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Imagining Australia : Literature and Culture in the New New World 2004; (p. 23-52)
y Mobilising Fictions or, Romancing the Australian Desert, 1890-1908 Melissa Bellanta , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2009 Z1238252 2003 single work criticism 'This paper looks at Australia's "lost race romances", published between 1890 and 1908, so-called because they described the discovery of an unknown race in the middle of the Australian desert...' (Author's abstract)
Lost and Found Cities and People : In Australia Graham Stone , 2001 single work review bibliography biography
— Appears in: Notes on Australian Science Fiction 2001; (p. 96-100)

— Review of The Lost Explorer : An Australian Story James Francis Hogan 1890 single work novel ; The Savage Queen : A Romance of the Natives of Van Dieman's Land Hume Nisbet 1891 single work novel ; The Golden Idol : a tale of adventures in Australia and New Zealand M. C. Walsh 1891 single work novel ; The Golden Lake, or, The Marvellous History of a Journey Through the Great Lone Land of Australia Carlton Dawe 1890 single work novel ; The Valley Council; Or, Leaves from the Journal of Thomas Bateman of Canbelego Station, N.S.W. Percy Clarke 1891 single work novel ; The Secret of the Australian Desert Ernest Favenc 1890 single work children's fiction ; The Fallen Race Austyn Granville 1892 single work novel ; Mostyn Stayne Roderic Quinn 1897 single work novel ; Marooned on Australia : Being the Narration by Diedrich Buys of His Discoveries and Exploits in Terra Australis Incognita about the Year 1630 Ernest Favenc 1896 single work children's fiction ; Adventure of the Broad Arrow : An Australian Romance. Morley Roberts 1897 single work novel ; An Australian Bush Track David Hennessey 1896 single work novel ; The Treasure Cave of the Blue Mountains W. H. O. Smeaton 1898 single work children's fiction ; The Last Lemurian : A Westralian Romance G. Firth Scott 1896 single work novel ; Eureka Owen Hall 1899 single work novel
y Writing the Colonial Adventure : Race, Gender and Nation in Anglo-Australian Popular Fiction, 1875-1914 Robert Dixon , Oakleigh : Cambridge University Press , 1995 Z480378 1995 single work criticism

Includes chapters on subjects ranging from the representation of property and ethics in 19th century novels, captivity narratives, romantic narratives, the occult, crime fiction and empire, and the representation of the 'Asiatic' in The Lone Hand.

Includes discussion of the influence of British writers H. Rider Haggard, Sir Walter Scott, Rudyard Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Early History : Australian Children's Literature to 1890 John Foster , Maureen Nimon , E. J. Finnis , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Children's Literature : An Exploration of Genre and Theme 1995; (p. 1-13)
The Lemurian Nineties J. J. Healy , 1978 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 8 no. 3 1978; (p. 307-316)
Publications Received 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Queenslander , 28 December 1895; (p. 1218)

— Review of The Secret of the Australian Desert Ernest Favenc 1890 single work children's fiction
Untitled 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Mail , 14 December vol. 60 no. 1849 1895; (p. 1221)

— Review of The Secret of the Australian Desert Ernest Favenc 1890 single work children's fiction
New Publications 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Mail , 14 December vol. 60 no. 1849 1895; (p. 1221)

— Review of The Secret of the Australian Desert Ernest Favenc 1890 single work children's fiction
An Australian Boys' Book 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 23 November vol. 16 no. 823 1895; (p. 2)

— Review of The Secret of the Australian Desert Ernest Favenc 1890 single work children's fiction
Publications Received 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Queenslander , 28 December 1895; (p. 1218)

— Review of The Secret of the Australian Desert Ernest Favenc 1890 single work children's fiction
Untitled 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Mail , 14 December vol. 60 no. 1849 1895; (p. 1221)

— Review of The Secret of the Australian Desert Ernest Favenc 1890 single work children's fiction
New Publications 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Mail , 14 December vol. 60 no. 1849 1895; (p. 1221)

— Review of The Secret of the Australian Desert Ernest Favenc 1890 single work children's fiction
Lost and Found Cities and People : In Australia Graham Stone , 2001 single work review bibliography biography
— Appears in: Notes on Australian Science Fiction 2001; (p. 96-100)

— Review of The Lost Explorer : An Australian Story James Francis Hogan 1890 single work novel ; The Savage Queen : A Romance of the Natives of Van Dieman's Land Hume Nisbet 1891 single work novel ; The Golden Idol : a tale of adventures in Australia and New Zealand M. C. Walsh 1891 single work novel ; The Golden Lake, or, The Marvellous History of a Journey Through the Great Lone Land of Australia Carlton Dawe 1890 single work novel ; The Valley Council; Or, Leaves from the Journal of Thomas Bateman of Canbelego Station, N.S.W. Percy Clarke 1891 single work novel ; The Secret of the Australian Desert Ernest Favenc 1890 single work children's fiction ; The Fallen Race Austyn Granville 1892 single work novel ; Mostyn Stayne Roderic Quinn 1897 single work novel ; Marooned on Australia : Being the Narration by Diedrich Buys of His Discoveries and Exploits in Terra Australis Incognita about the Year 1630 Ernest Favenc 1896 single work children's fiction ; Adventure of the Broad Arrow : An Australian Romance. Morley Roberts 1897 single work novel ; An Australian Bush Track David Hennessey 1896 single work novel ; The Treasure Cave of the Blue Mountains W. H. O. Smeaton 1898 single work children's fiction ; The Last Lemurian : A Westralian Romance G. Firth Scott 1896 single work novel ; Eureka Owen Hall 1899 single work novel
An Australian Boys' Book 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 23 November vol. 16 no. 823 1895; (p. 2)

— Review of The Secret of the Australian Desert Ernest Favenc 1890 single work children's fiction
Fabulating the Australian Desert : Australia's Lost Race Romances, 1890-1908 Melissa Bellanta , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Philament , April no. 3 2004;
Dead White Male Heroes : Ludwig Leichhardt and Ned Kelly in Australian Fictions Susan K. Martin , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Imagining Australia : Literature and Culture in the New New World 2004; (p. 23-52)
y Mobilising Fictions or, Romancing the Australian Desert, 1890-1908 Melissa Bellanta , St Lucia : AustLit: The Australian Literature Resource , 2009 Z1238252 2003 single work criticism 'This paper looks at Australia's "lost race romances", published between 1890 and 1908, so-called because they described the discovery of an unknown race in the middle of the Australian desert...' (Author's abstract)
Lemuria and Australian Dreams of an Inland Sea Michael Cathcart , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Lemuria , Winter vol. 1 no. 1 2006; (p. 32-47)
Cathcart reads a range of 'Lemurian novels,' examining their 'uncomplicated optimism about the future of White Australia, their trust that the key to that future lay beneath the earth, in the Great Australian Basin, and their attempts to grapple with the deadly impact of colonisation on the Aborigines who resisted' (44).
Australian Science Fiction : In Search of the 'Feel' Dorotta Guttfeld , 2007-2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Australienstudien , no. 21-22 2007-2008; (p. 65-72)
Britishness and Australian Popular Fiction : From the Mid-Nineteenth to the Mid-Twentieth Centuries Hsu-Ming Teo , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sold by the Millions : Australia's Bestsellers 2012; (p. 46-66)
'The analysis offered here is [...], a panoptic perspective of the tangled skeins of literary imagination and imitation, gender and genre requirements, editorial control, market considerations and the sheer economics of the international book trade that knotted Australian popular literature into the cultural and economic fabric of the British empire.' (47)
Ernest Favenc: Less Known as Nineteenth-Century Australian Children's Author Geoffrey Burkhardt , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Lu Rees Archives Notes, Books and Authors , no. 33 2011; (p. 6-9)
'Ernest Favenc (1845-1908) is far better remebered as an historian, short story writer and explorer in northern and western Australia than as an author of a number of popular children's books.'
The Lemurian Nineties J. J. Healy , 1978 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , May vol. 8 no. 3 1978; (p. 307-316)
y Writing the Colonial Adventure : Race, Gender and Nation in Anglo-Australian Popular Fiction, 1875-1914 Robert Dixon , Oakleigh : Cambridge University Press , 1995 Z480378 1995 single work criticism

Includes chapters on subjects ranging from the representation of property and ethics in 19th century novels, captivity narratives, romantic narratives, the occult, crime fiction and empire, and the representation of the 'Asiatic' in The Lone Hand.

Includes discussion of the influence of British writers H. Rider Haggard, Sir Walter Scott, Rudyard Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Early History : Australian Children's Literature to 1890 John Foster , Maureen Nimon , E. J. Finnis , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Children's Literature : An Exploration of Genre and Theme 1995; (p. 1-13)
Leichhardt after Leichhardt Andrew W. Hurley , Katrina Schlunke , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , vol. 37 no. 4 2013; (p. 537-543)

In this essay, the authors review 'a selection of the more influential writings about Leichhardt to demonstrate both the enduring

interest in his life and the vastly different perspectives held in the texts.' (537)

Beyond Nation? Ludwig Leichhardt’s Transnationalism Katrina Schlunke , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Coolabah , no. 13 2014; (p. 157-178)

'Inspired by the conference theme of ‘Looking Back to Look Forward’ this paper examines the multiple ways in which the Prussian explorer of northern Australia, Ludwig Leichhardt, provides possible new directions for rethinking contemporary concepts such as transnationalism and nationalism. While the paper in its genealogical fashion assumes that the past is not simply available to us to be looked upon but rather is made to appear to us through various, material and ideological productions; it is still inspired by the possibility that re-imagining the past in the present can produce alternative and better futures. ' (Author's abstract)

Last amended 26 May 2016 15:46:33
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