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y separately published work icon Handfasted single work   novel   science fiction  
First known date: 1879 Issue Details: First known date: 1879... 1879 Handfasted
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Deals with a group of long-lost Scottish adventurers whose self-contained community, Columba, has been isolated from the wider world in a remote valley since 1745, allowing them to develop a radically alternative society [...] The chief distinguishing feature of Columba is its fostering of the practice of handfasting, a custom allowing trial marriages of a year and a day.'

Source: Strange Constellations: A History of Australian Science Fiction.

Exhibitions

8907362
8857868

Notes

  • The typescript copy in the State Library of SA, described by Helen Thomson in the Introduction to the 1984 edition as 'a fair copy in another hand which has been amended by Spence' gives the author's name as Hugh Victor Keith. This is, however, the name of the principle character of the book.

Contents

* Contents derived from the Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,:Penguin , 1984 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Preface, Helen Thomson , single work criticism (p. vii-ix)
Afterword, Helen Thomson , single work criticism (p. 363-378)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1879
Notes:
Originally written in 1879, but not published until 1984. Some parts of the manuscript are omitted in the published version.
    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 1984 .
      image of person or book cover 7899580146846613079.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Description: ix, 378 p.
      ISBN: 0140075054

Works about this Work

The Fiction of the Future : Australian Science Fiction Russell Blackford , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sold by the Millions : Australia's Bestsellers 2012; (p. 128-140)
'According to Russell Blackford 'commercial science fiction is the most international of literary forms.' He observes that 'Australian SF continues to flourish, even if it trails heroic fantasy in mass-market appeal.' Australian SF writers although published internationally, with a dedicated fan followings in USA, UK and Europe, were overlooked for a very long time by Australian multinational publishers. The international editions had to be imported and were then distributed in Australia (Congreve and Marquardt 8). Blackford in his chapter throws light on the history of Australian SF and observes how Australian SF writers, with their concern for the future, achieved a powerful synthesis in form and content. The progress of Australian SF, maturity of style in the work of younger writers, and massive worldwide sales make Blackford optimistic as he asserts that 'the best Australian writers in the genre will be prominent players on the world stage.' (Editor's foreword xii-xiii)
Australian Fantasies Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing 2009; (p. 81-95)

'Australian culture is frequently described as materialistic, hedonistic and fun-loving, and no doubt it is, in some respects, all those things. The 'land of the long week-end', its 'great stupor' perhaps, even the 'lucky country' - all these more or less flattering tags suggest, sometimes in the face of what their authors intended, that nothing can go seriously wrong in Australia, where life cannot be but easy-going and enjoyable. And so it would appear that, as Craig McGregor observed, 'the Australian race is engaged in a whole-hearted pursuit of happiness without guilt. The beach, in particular, has been for several decades one of the major symbols of the Australian way of life, the locus of Australian hedonism, where people worship the sun, display their near-naked bodies, and ogle other people's...' (p. 81)

Sexuality in Utopia : Catherine Helen Spence, William Lane and Social Dreaming in Nineteenth-Century Australia Michele McFarland , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Victorian Studies Journal , vol. 8 no. 2002; (p. 35-44)
Discusses some of Spence's and Lane's attitudes to sexuality and other aspects of gender that manifest themselves in their critiques of existing society, as well as through their visions of a better alternative.
Catherine Helen Spence : Enlightenment Woman Helen Thomson , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Departures : How Australia Reinvents Itself 2002; (p. 236-244, notes 300)
Defining Self and Others through Textile and Text Dorothy Jones , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Women's Writing , vol. 8 no. 3 (p. 375-389)
Lecturer Restores Rejected Novel Michael Sharkey , 1984 single work review
— Appears in: The Toowoomba Chronicle , 5 June 1984; (p. 27)

— Review of Handfasted Catherine Helen Spence , 1879 single work novel
A Feast of Writing by Women: Serious, and Witty and Wise Veronica Sen , 1984 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 May 1984; (p. 8)

— Review of And So Say All of Us : Stories by Australian Women 1984 anthology short story ; Handfasted Catherine Helen Spence , 1879 single work novel
A Plea for Liberation, Years Ahead of Its Time Geoffrey Dutton , 1984 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 5 June vol. 104 no. 5419 1984; (p. 88,91)

— Review of Handfasted Catherine Helen Spence , 1879 single work novel
Loosen Your Marriage Tie Myfanwy Gollan , 1984 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 23 June 1984; (p. 42)

— Review of Handfasted Catherine Helen Spence , 1879 single work novel
Wiff of Danger Lasts Century of Changes Helen Daniel , 1984 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 9 June 1984; (p. 16)

— Review of Handfasted Catherine Helen Spence , 1879 single work novel
Sexuality in Utopia : Catherine Helen Spence, William Lane and Social Dreaming in Nineteenth-Century Australia Michele McFarland , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Victorian Studies Journal , vol. 8 no. 2002; (p. 35-44)
Discusses some of Spence's and Lane's attitudes to sexuality and other aspects of gender that manifest themselves in their critiques of existing society, as well as through their visions of a better alternative.
Afterword Helen Thomson , 1984 single work criticism
— Appears in: Handfasted 1984; (p. 363-378)
Star Trek - The Australian Feminist Generation Tracy Meszaros , 1994 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Women's Book Review , December vol. 6 no. 4 1994; (p. 6-8)
Australian Fantasies Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing 2009; (p. 81-95)

'Australian culture is frequently described as materialistic, hedonistic and fun-loving, and no doubt it is, in some respects, all those things. The 'land of the long week-end', its 'great stupor' perhaps, even the 'lucky country' - all these more or less flattering tags suggest, sometimes in the face of what their authors intended, that nothing can go seriously wrong in Australia, where life cannot be but easy-going and enjoyable. And so it would appear that, as Craig McGregor observed, 'the Australian race is engaged in a whole-hearted pursuit of happiness without guilt. The beach, in particular, has been for several decades one of the major symbols of the Australian way of life, the locus of Australian hedonism, where people worship the sun, display their near-naked bodies, and ogle other people's...' (p. 81)

The Fiction of the Future : Australian Science Fiction Russell Blackford , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sold by the Millions : Australia's Bestsellers 2012; (p. 128-140)
'According to Russell Blackford 'commercial science fiction is the most international of literary forms.' He observes that 'Australian SF continues to flourish, even if it trails heroic fantasy in mass-market appeal.' Australian SF writers although published internationally, with a dedicated fan followings in USA, UK and Europe, were overlooked for a very long time by Australian multinational publishers. The international editions had to be imported and were then distributed in Australia (Congreve and Marquardt 8). Blackford in his chapter throws light on the history of Australian SF and observes how Australian SF writers, with their concern for the future, achieved a powerful synthesis in form and content. The progress of Australian SF, maturity of style in the work of younger writers, and massive worldwide sales make Blackford optimistic as he asserts that 'the best Australian writers in the genre will be prominent players on the world stage.' (Editor's foreword xii-xiii)
Last amended 31 Mar 2016 12:47:45
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