AustLit logo
Children Lost in the Bush website   bibliography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2008... 2008 Children Lost in the Bush
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

The figure of the lost child is a persistent one in Australian literature. In the mid-to-late 19th century, incidents of children lost in the bush received significant press coverage, and they were also the subject of artists' renderings and fictionalised re-tellings in poems and stories. The most famous case of children lost in the bush is that of the Duff children, who went missing in the Wimmera region of Victoria in 1864. Isaac (aged nine), Jane (aged seven), and Frank (aged almost four) spent nine days lost in the bush before being rescued by indigenous trackers. If we examine some of the numerous re-tellings, drawings, and paintings of the incident, we can see how writers and artists gradually made Jane Duff the hero of the story, virtually ignoring the courage of Isaac and Frank Duff, and the skill of the trackers who actually saved the children's lives. This trail leads you through newspaper reports, art work, poems, shorts stories, and full-length works that tell or re-tell the Duffs' story. It also includes critical work that examines these primary texts, or the figure of the lost child more generally in Australian literature. Most of the primary works listed here can be read immediately online, because they have been digitised as part of the Children's Literature Digital Resources project. You can read more about CLDR by going to

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 8 Apr 2016 11:44:23
    Powered by Trove