AustLit logo
Patrick White’s Studies for Voss single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2022... 2022 Patrick White’s Studies for Voss
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'One of Patrick White’s working notebooks, acquired by the National Library of Australia in 2006, is almost exclusively devoted to material related to his breakthrough novel Voss (1957), which marks a new departure in his career. It is a historical novel set in Australia’s colonial period, though with thematic connections to White’s earlier works. Close attention to Notebook 5 shows how extensively White researched its historical background and how he absorbed that research, sometimes transposing details verbatim into Voss. While certain material deals with Ludwig Leichhardt and his expeditions into the interior (for example Daniel Bunce’s Travels with Dr Leichhardt in Australia [1859] and Alec H. Chisholm’s Strange New World [1941]), it is apparent that White is more interested in details of Leichhardt’s various journeys than in debates about the man himself. He read other explorers, notably Edward John Eyre, and settlers of whom John Dunmore Lang is prominent, his notes revealing a particular interest in Aboriginal people. A second strand of White’s research informs those sections of Voss set in Sydney in the 1840s, and a third involves theological and philosophical speculations about the nature of faith that are reflected in the musings of Laura Trevelyan and others. In addition, there are fragments of draft of both Voss and Riders in the Chariot (1961), indicating that White was already incubating the later novel as he was completing Voss. It appears too that he undertook major restructuring of Voss at a late stage.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 14 Oct 2022 13:45:56 Patrick White’s Studies for Vosssmall AustLit logo Australian Literary Studies
    Powered by Trove