Issue Details: First known date: 2008 2008
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Feminist accounts of literary canon formation in which male authors typically predominated tend to stress the ideological pressures that marginalised female aspirants for critical attention, both at first publication and then again in ongoing critical debates within influential literary coteries. So it was in the 1980s as feminists sought to account for the overlooking of Australian women novelists (Ada Cambridge, Catherine Martin, Rosa Praed and Tasma), who achieved publication in London in the 1890s but who failed to gain a foothold as 'classics' when a proto-canon of the colonial literary achievement began to be formulated in and after the 1890s. Textual and book-historical research carried out for various scholarly editing projects since the 1980s, once brought together, has opened up the possibility of an empirical, book-historical approach that is very different. The first candidates put forward for elevated status - Henry Kingsley's The Recollections of Geoffry Hamlyn (1859), Marcus Clarke's His Natural Life (1874) and Rolf Boldrewood's Robbery Under Arms (1888) - share a remarkable condition. In the year after the 1888 centenary the three novels were available, cheaply, in the bookshops and therefore in the libraries and mechanics institutes, and all at the same time, despite their varying, original dates of publication. The essay explores the implications of this fact, together with the shift in international tastes towards realism, as reflected and adapted in the Australian colonies.' (Author's abstract)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y JASAL Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature; The Colonial Present : Australian Writing for the 21st Century Special Issue Gillian Whitlock (editor), Victoria Kuttainen (editor), 2008 Z1499541 2008 periodical issue 2008 pg. 130-157
    Note: Includes end notes and list of works cited.

Works about this Work

'Our Literary Connexion' : Rosa Praed and George Bentley Chris Tiffin , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October-November vol. 27 no. 3/4 2012; (p. 107-123)

This essay examines Rosa Praed's communication 'through letters, agreements, publisher's ledgers, and memoirs of her dealings with one of her early publishers, George Bentley of Richard Bentley & Son. These dealings were essentially professional and financial, but they were also educative and personal. George Bentley was one of several male mentors during Praed's first decade of publishing, but the only one who was both mentor and publisher....' (108)

Australian Literature and the New Empiricism : A Response to Paul Eggert, 'Australian Classics and the Price of Books' Robert Dixon , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue 2008; (p. 158-162)
Robert Dixon welcomes Paul Eggert's empirically-driven research into the formation of the literary canon in nineteenth century Australia. Dixon believes some wider questions remain to be asked: 'The reading of Australian literature is bound up with broader questions about reading literature in Australia. To put this another way, we probably will not fully understand Australian literature until it is seen as part of the broader political economy of literature in Australia.'
Australian Literature and the New Empiricism : A Response to Paul Eggert, 'Australian Classics and the Price of Books' Robert Dixon , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue 2008; (p. 158-162)
Robert Dixon welcomes Paul Eggert's empirically-driven research into the formation of the literary canon in nineteenth century Australia. Dixon believes some wider questions remain to be asked: 'The reading of Australian literature is bound up with broader questions about reading literature in Australia. To put this another way, we probably will not fully understand Australian literature until it is seen as part of the broader political economy of literature in Australia.'
'Our Literary Connexion' : Rosa Praed and George Bentley Chris Tiffin , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October-November vol. 27 no. 3/4 2012; (p. 107-123)

This essay examines Rosa Praed's communication 'through letters, agreements, publisher's ledgers, and memoirs of her dealings with one of her early publishers, George Bentley of Richard Bentley & Son. These dealings were essentially professional and financial, but they were also educative and personal. George Bentley was one of several male mentors during Praed's first decade of publishing, but the only one who was both mentor and publisher....' (108)

Last amended 10 Aug 2010 15:51:39
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