No Place for a Woman single work   short story  
  • Author: Henry Lawson http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/lawson-henry
Issue Details: First known date: 1900 1900
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Ratty Howlett' has lived alone on his selection for fifteen years. His only company is the occasional traveller he waylays on the road past his property and persuades to stop for a yarn. When the narrator is invited back to Ratty's hut for a meal he is surprised to find it clean and tidy. Ratty tells him his wife has gone out for the day and it is not until five years later that the narrator learns the truth.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Australian Rural Romance As Feminist Romance? Lauren O’Mahony , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Journal of Popular Culture , September vol. 3 no. 3 2014; (p. 285-298)
'A short story originally published in 1900 by writer and poet Henry Lawson captured the perceived incompatibility of women and life in remote Australia with its refrain that the bush ‘was no place for a woman!’. The suggestion in Lawson’s story is that the bush could easily prove fatal to women and for men it could undo them, mentally and spiritually. Now at the start of the new millennium, many barriers to women living and working in rural Australia have been challenged or removed altogether. Yet, recent sociological research, such as that undertaken by Margaret Alston, argues that gender inequality is an ongoing problem in rural communities. For example, one persistent stereotype is that men undertake the meaningful work in rural life while women watch from the sidelines, simply ‘help’, or see their contribution downplayed or downright ignored. This article explores how a new breed of bestselling novels, variously dubbed ‘chook lit’ or ‘contemporary Australian rural romance’, use a romantic structure to represent gender inequality in a rural setting. The article draws examples from Jillaroo (Rachael Treasure, 2002), The Bark Cutters (Nicole Alexander, 2010) and North Star (Karly Lane, 2011) to show the varying approaches to the romance plot that construct gutsy heroines, depict important rural issues and leave readers with endings that, as in other romances, offer ‘a utopian projection which expresses a critical evaluation of the contemporary patriarchal order’ (Cranny-Francis 1990: 191). This article argues that contemporary Australian rural romances raise questions about the romance plot while critiquing aspects of gender inequality specific to the context. In turn, such novels may encourage and inspire female readers (if they so choose) to do more in rural life than sit on the fence watching the men.' (Publication abstract)
Myths of Domesticity in the Novels of Elizabeth Jolley John O'Brien , 1991 single work criticism
— Appears in: Elizabeth Jolley : New Critical Essays 1991; (p. 131-146)
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".
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".
Myths of Domesticity in the Novels of Elizabeth Jolley John O'Brien , 1991 single work criticism
— Appears in: Elizabeth Jolley : New Critical Essays 1991; (p. 131-146)
Australian Rural Romance As Feminist Romance? Lauren O’Mahony , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Journal of Popular Culture , September vol. 3 no. 3 2014; (p. 285-298)
'A short story originally published in 1900 by writer and poet Henry Lawson captured the perceived incompatibility of women and life in remote Australia with its refrain that the bush ‘was no place for a woman!’. The suggestion in Lawson’s story is that the bush could easily prove fatal to women and for men it could undo them, mentally and spiritually. Now at the start of the new millennium, many barriers to women living and working in rural Australia have been challenged or removed altogether. Yet, recent sociological research, such as that undertaken by Margaret Alston, argues that gender inequality is an ongoing problem in rural communities. For example, one persistent stereotype is that men undertake the meaningful work in rural life while women watch from the sidelines, simply ‘help’, or see their contribution downplayed or downright ignored. This article explores how a new breed of bestselling novels, variously dubbed ‘chook lit’ or ‘contemporary Australian rural romance’, use a romantic structure to represent gender inequality in a rural setting. The article draws examples from Jillaroo (Rachael Treasure, 2002), The Bark Cutters (Nicole Alexander, 2010) and North Star (Karly Lane, 2011) to show the varying approaches to the romance plot that construct gutsy heroines, depict important rural issues and leave readers with endings that, as in other romances, offer ‘a utopian projection which expresses a critical evaluation of the contemporary patriarchal order’ (Cranny-Francis 1990: 191). This article argues that contemporary Australian rural romances raise questions about the romance plot while critiquing aspects of gender inequality specific to the context. In turn, such novels may encourage and inspire female readers (if they so choose) to do more in rural life than sit on the fence watching the men.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 12 May 2010 10:22:14
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