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Issue Details: First known date: 1971... 1971 Best Australian Short Stories
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* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,:Lloyd O'Neil , 1971 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The Drover's Wife, Henry Lawson , 1892 single work short story

First appearing in The Bulletin in 1892, Henry Lawson's short story 'The Drovers Wife' is today regarded as a seminal work in the Australian literary tradition. Noted for it's depiction of the bush as harsh, potentially threatening and both isolated and isolating, the story opens with a simple enough premise: an aggressive--and presumably deadly--snake disrupts the working life of a bushwoman and her young children. Brave but cautious, the woman resolves to protect her children since her husband is, characteristically, away from home and of no help. 

As time passes within the story, tension builds, and the snake's symbolic threat takes on layers of meaning as the sleepless heroine recalls previous challenges she faced while her husband was away. A series of flashbacks and recollections propel the story through the single night over which it takes place, and by the time the climax arrives--the confrontation with the snake--readers have learned much about the heroine's strengths and fears, most of the latter involving the loss of children and dark figures who encroach upon her small, vulnerable homestead. To be sure, this "darkness" is highly symbolic, and Lawson's use of imagery invokes Western notions of good and evil as well as gendered and racial stereotypes. 

(p. 1-8)
The Bush Undertaker, Henry Lawson , 1892 single work short story
An old shepherd discovers his mate, Brummy, dead and mummified in the bush. Saddened, he feels compelled to bury him.
(p. 9-16)
A Profitable Pub, E. G. D. , 1887 single work short story humour The Golden Shanty (p. 17-28)
Note: With title: A Golden Shanty
A Visit to Scrubby Gully, Edward Dyson , 1895 single work short story humour (p. 29-37)
A Midsummer Night's Idyll, Titus Salt , 1891 single work short story humour The Deeply Poetic Account of a Midsummer Night's Idyll (p. 38-45)
Note: With title: 'The Deeply Poetic Account of a Midsummer Night's Idyll'. Minor variants in text from original version.
Lieutenant Darrell's Predicament, 'Price Warung' , 1890 single work short story (p. 46-62)
The Chosen Vessel, Barbara Baynton , 1896 single work short story (p. 63-69)
Billy Skywonkie, Barbara Baynton , 1902 single work short story (p. 70-82)
Piety's Monument, Point Blank , 1903 single work short story (p. 83-86)
Destiny, Frank Penn-Smith , 1928 single work short story fable (p. 87-90)
The Methodical Mr. Burr, Louis Becke , 1893 single work short story The Methodical Mr Burr of Majuru (p. 91-95)
Note: With title: 'The Methodical Mr Burr of Majuru'
The Cast-Iron Canvasser, A. B. Paterson , 1891 single work short story humour satire science fiction (p. 96-104)
Wharf Labourers, Robert Brothers , 1914 single work short story (p. 105-108)
The Outcasts, Norman Lindsay , 1915 extract novel humour
Chapter Five of Saturdee
(p. 109-121)
Adventure : A Fantasy of the Ranges, Hugh McCrae , 1941 single work short story Adventure (p. 122-123)
Note: With title: Adventure
The Bath : An Aquarelle, Henry Handel Richardson , 1929 single work short story (p. 124-127)
The Duel, William Baylebridge , 1921 single work short story war literature (p. 128-130)
Mathieson's Wife, Vance Palmer , 1949 single work short story (p. 131-146)
The Cooboo, Katharine Susannah Prichard , 1927 single work short story
Set on the wide plains of the Murndoo station, 'The Cooboo' is the story of Rose, a Wongana woman, mother, and stockwoman.
(p. 147-150)
The Vine-Dweller, Les Robinson , 1944 single work short story (p. 151-154)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

This anthology is drawn from the earlier collections, Short Stories of Australia : The Moderns (ed. Beatrice Davis, q.v.), and Short Stories of Australia : The Lawson Tradition (ed. Douglas Stewart, q.v. ). Includes brief biographical notes on the authors.
Last amended 5 Aug 2008 10:43:55
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