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y separately published work icon Promised Lands single work   novel   historical fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 1995... 1995 Promised Lands
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

The author combines two parallel narratives which conjoin the past and the present. Royal Marine Lieutenant William Dawes, an idealistic young officer and astronomist, set sail toward Australia in 1788 with dreams of establishing a Utopian society, where the convict settlers on his ship and the Aborigines will learn from each other and live in unity. His modern counterpart, Stephen Beech, a history professor with radical ideas for transforming his school, is researching Dawes's life and the early days of the Botany Bay settlement. As Beech learns the harsh truths about the settlement - the failure of colonialist policies, the ravages of small pox and the degradation of the convicts - he struggles to understand his own failed efforts to implement his Utopian educational theories. Beech's wife Olla rejects her husband's views and creates her own Utopian worldview, in which their apparently handicapped son, Daniel, is in possession of extraordinary powers and is destined to become mankind's savior. (Source: LibrariesAustralia)

Notes

  • Winner of the Writers Guild Award (Best Fiction), 1996.
  • Other formats: Also sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Faber ,
      1995 .
      Extent: 376p.
      Note/s:
      • Includes author's note regarding research of historical characters depicted in book (p. 376).
      ISBN: 9780571175710, 0571175716 (hbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Faber ,
      1996 .
      Extent: 464p.
      ISBN: 9780571175895 (pbk), 0571175899 (pbk)
    • Woodstock, New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Overlook Press ,
      1997 .
      Extent: 376p.
      Edition info: 1st American ed.
      Note/s:
      • Includes bibliographical references.
      ISBN: 0879517530 (hbk), 9780879517533
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Overlook Press ,
      1998 .
      Extent: 376p.
      ISBN: 9780879518660, 0879518669 (pbk)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Abacus ,
      2000 .
      Extent: 480p.
      ISBN: 034911322X (pbk), 9780349113227

Works about this Work

Seeing the Cosmos : Ross Gibson’s ‘Simultaneous Living Map’ Catherine Noske , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 15 no. 3 2015;
'In its reading of the journals of William Dawes, Ross Gibson’s 26 Views of the Starburst World offers a dynamic vision of the world. His entry into the landscape of Sydney Cove is characterised by and constructed according to the multiple ‘views’ of his title, each of which interrelate in various, shifting ways to coalesce into a narrative. The version of place which emerges is both strange and beautiful, challenging constructs of nation which depend on notions of locality and ‘rootedness’. Gibson’s text thus prompts questions of critical practice before place. What can be achieved in taking up a fragmented writing style? This paper investigates the manner in which Gibson reconstructs concepts of place and space in order to challenge contemporary understandings of the Australian nation. It questions whether or not a similar vision of place can be applied in other contexts, and examines the manner in which place comes to be doubled over in the act of reading.' (Publication abstract)
The Sydney Language : William Dawes in Australian Literature Belinda Castles , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: New Scholar , vol. 3 no. 2 2014;
'Familiar images of Sydney, displaying its sparkling harbour, opera house and bridge, belie the darkness of its short history. For Delia Falconer, in her recent ‘biography’ of Sydney, the city’s ‘fundamental temperament is melancholy’ (2). Over two hundred years of European settlement have brought countless tales of grim encounters in quiet alleys, graves found in the bush, bodies bobbing to the surface of rivers. And there is an older shock, hidden in the landscape, the sudden, calamitous arrival of an alien civilisation. ' (Author's introduction)
A Fleeting Look at Our History Diane Stubbings , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 8 September 2007; (p. 11)
A Poxy Epoch Michele Field , 1996 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 10 August 1996; (p. 11s)
Going Down with Their Dreams David Allen , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 9-10 March 1996; (p. rev 15)

— Review of Promised Lands Jane Rogers , 1995 single work novel
Extraordinary Fictional Glimpse at Early NSW Helen Elliott , 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 25 November 1995; (p. C11)

— Review of Promised Lands Jane Rogers , 1995 single work novel
Caught Between Medieval and Modern Carl Bridge , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 6 January 1996; (p. 11)

— Review of Promised Lands Jane Rogers , 1995 single work novel
The Science of Looking Back in Our History Helen Elliott , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 14 January 1996; (p. 8)

— Review of Promised Lands Jane Rogers , 1995 single work novel
Distant Mirror Helen Elliott , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 2 March 1996; (p. wkd 8)

— Review of Promised Lands Jane Rogers , 1995 single work novel
Going Down with Their Dreams David Allen , 1996 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 9-10 March 1996; (p. rev 15)

— Review of Promised Lands Jane Rogers , 1995 single work novel
A Fleeting Look at Our History Diane Stubbings , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 8 September 2007; (p. 11)
A Poxy Epoch Michele Field , 1996 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 10 August 1996; (p. 11s)
An Idealist in the First Fleet Penelope Layland , 1996 single work criticism biography
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 15 September 1996; (p. 20)
The Sydney Language : William Dawes in Australian Literature Belinda Castles , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: New Scholar , vol. 3 no. 2 2014;
'Familiar images of Sydney, displaying its sparkling harbour, opera house and bridge, belie the darkness of its short history. For Delia Falconer, in her recent ‘biography’ of Sydney, the city’s ‘fundamental temperament is melancholy’ (2). Over two hundred years of European settlement have brought countless tales of grim encounters in quiet alleys, graves found in the bush, bodies bobbing to the surface of rivers. And there is an older shock, hidden in the landscape, the sudden, calamitous arrival of an alien civilisation. ' (Author's introduction)
Seeing the Cosmos : Ross Gibson’s ‘Simultaneous Living Map’ Catherine Noske , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 15 no. 3 2015;
'In its reading of the journals of William Dawes, Ross Gibson’s 26 Views of the Starburst World offers a dynamic vision of the world. His entry into the landscape of Sydney Cove is characterised by and constructed according to the multiple ‘views’ of his title, each of which interrelate in various, shifting ways to coalesce into a narrative. The version of place which emerges is both strange and beautiful, challenging constructs of nation which depend on notions of locality and ‘rootedness’. Gibson’s text thus prompts questions of critical practice before place. What can be achieved in taking up a fragmented writing style? This paper investigates the manner in which Gibson reconstructs concepts of place and space in order to challenge contemporary understandings of the Australian nation. It questions whether or not a similar vision of place can be applied in other contexts, and examines the manner in which place comes to be doubled over in the act of reading.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 18 Oct 2013 16:05:24
Settings:
  • 1900-1999
  • 1780s
  • 1790s
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