A comprehensive study of the development of a distinctive Australian literature from Aboriginal legends, through the arrival of white settlers, to modern times. It traces this development through novels, journals, diaries, poems, plays and newspapers, supporting its general findings by quotations from the works discussed. Each work is exmained in its historical context in an attempt to gain an insight into the social and cultural environment.
The study includes a broad selection of writers and works, including the diaries and journals of early settlers and explorers; ballad writers such as Adam Lindsay Gordon; colonial writers such as Catherine Helen Spence and Henry Lawson; twentieth-century authors such as Kenneth Slessor, Kylie Tennant and Frank Hardy; and contemporary writers such as Peter Carey, Tim Winton, Fay Zwicky, Oodgeroo Noonuccal, and Dimitris Tsaloumas.
An important and valuable survey of Australian literature.