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Issue Details: First known date: 1970... 1970 William Grant Broughton and His Early Years in New South Wales
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'William Grant Broughton had a place in early histories of Australia. Then around 1910 he faded before a growing preoccupation with economic factors as the true substance of a proper story of early colonial life. The last decade has seen a change. In a series of religious, intellectual, and biographical studies a number of people, and among them Broughton, have been returned their roles in the colonial drama. Yet for Broughton it has not been a happy comeback. He has been cast in the role of a humourless and unbending Tory, and made out to be something of an absurdity in gaiters in a land of gum trees; eminently quotable for a good joke, but an undoubted sojourner who longed for an invitation to return to the land of his fathers, to its green pastures and settled ways. The tragedy of his life was that the invitation never came; and that too, it has been implied, was a tragedy for colonial life. My interest in Broughton began with a suspicion that there could possibly be another and a different Broughton. When the Bishop died in 1853 the Annual Register, which jealously tailored its obituary space to its client’s social status, threw tradition to the wind and bade Broughton farewell with a notice worthy of the cousins of royalty. At the same time the picks and shovels of labourers were to be heard for the first time since the Reformation preparing in the his nave of Canterbury’s Cathedral a home for /bones. What some men said and others did was performed in honour of one who had been only a few months in England after fifteen continuous years of absence. What stirred men to honour Broughton in this manner? The explanation peeping through recent historical scholarship did not supply a satisfactory answer. And this dissatisfaction was heightened by a realisation that this so-called sojourner came for a few years and stayed a lifetime. Moreover, he came for the rewards and lived to give half his annual salary away at a time inflation further reduced the value of the remaining half. Neither action spoke of a man who felt himself an exile in a strange land. They suggested the opposite; and told the tale of a man who came increasingly to identify himself with the colony and its people. So the problem of Broughton was born.' (Thesis description)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

      Canberra, Australian Capital Territory,: 1970 .
      Extent: 588p.
      • Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Last amended 22 May 2020 14:20:02
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