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* Contents derived from the Ringwood,Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area,Melbourne - East,Melbourne,Victoria,:Penguin,1988 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
A study of the writings of Australian women writers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is an opportunity to re-read the history of Australian literature. Adelaide suggests a number of reasons why women's writing of this period was sidelined in the development of an Australian literary ethos and Australian nationalism.
Short biography and analysis of The Broad Arrow that shows the unique place in nineteenth century literature of its female hero of "magnificent stature". The novel's exploration of a variety of female responses produces a unique feminine experience of the colonial experience in Australia.
Thomson examines Spence's portrayal of women, marriage and society in her novels, noting the degree to which she criticizes the nineteenth-century status quo and suggests reforms which would liberate women, married or unmarried.
Catherine Martin is undervalued today, despite her prolific writing, her fine studies of character, beautiful descriptions of the Australian landscape and shrewdly observed accounts of life in different Australian localities. An outline of Martin's life and writings.
Harris discusses the life and works of Jessie Couvreur and argues that the Australianness of her fiction is inextricable from the dramatisation of the woman question. But, while autobiographical elements can be found, Harris stresses that the novels are much more complicated than simple self-justification or therapy because female characters are not readily exonerated. The popularity of Couvreur's fiction, however, was achieved by the successful transplantation of familiar character types and situations from other nineteenth century fiction to the unfamiliar Australian setting.