The works in this selection, all composed or published between 1885 and 1905, 'represent the way in which literary forms were used to respond to some of the important social, cultural and political preoccupations' of Australia during this period (Note on the Text, ix). The work is divided into the following six sections, each with a prefatory Editor's Note; Histories and Futures; Home and Away; Love and Other Catastrophes; Work and Play; Civilisation and its Discontents: Art and Society. There is also a List of Sources, pp. 374-381, and a bibliography, pp. 382-390.