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Issue Details: First known date: 2018... 2018 The Literary Text as Historical Artifact : The Colonial Couple in Australian Romantic Fiction by Women, 1838-1860
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'This article inverts the title of Hayden White's 1974 essay 'The Historical Text as Literary Artifact' by exploring literary texts as historical artifacts. It uses three novels published by Australian women writers in the mid-nineteenth century - Catherine Helen Spence's Clara Morison (1854), Caroline Louisa Atkinson's Gertrude the Emigrant (1857), and Mary Theresa Vidal's 'Bengala, or Some Time Ago' (1860) - 'as historical sources to explore the emotional culture of colonial Australia in regard to romantic love. Following Sarah Pinto, this article takes the romantic couple as the centre of its analysis, and asks four key questions of the novels in the corpus: What kind of people fall in love? Who do they fall in love with? What kind of love do they fall in? And how do their lives and their loves interact with the colonial Australian landscape? It finds that romantic love in these novels is dependent on romanticised similarity and shared sensibility rather than eroticised otherness. It argues that while this might not necessarily be uniquely nationally distinctive, the Australian chronotopic context means that this narrative would have strong and specific resonances with a female colonial audience.'  (Publication abstract)


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  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Lilith no. 24 2018 15510953 2018 periodical issue

    'At this year’s Australian Women’s History Network Symposium ‘The Past is a Position: History, Activism and Privilege’, Dr Chelsea Bond urged that the past is not a position; it is ever-present. If historical representations of Aboriginal women are products of their time, Bond posed, ‘what time are we in now?’1 She suggested that stories and representations of Aboriginal women continue to enact the damage of colonial constructions. The statement resonated with those who attended as Dr Bond, Associate Professor Barbara Baird and Professor Suvendrini Perera reflected on the ways in which their academic work intersected with their activism. Beyond the symposium, the presence of the past, our past, and the academic and political conflict over its meanings and legacies, has not eased its heavy weight on the intellectual and emotional labour of feminist academics in 2018.' (Georgina Rychner : Editorial introduction)

    pg. 38-51
Last amended 5 Feb 2019 13:23:37
38-51 The Literary Text as Historical Artifact : The Colonial Couple in Australian Romantic Fiction by Women, 1838-1860small AustLit logo Lilith
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