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y separately published work icon Mr Darwin's Shooter single work   novel   historical fiction  
  • Author:agent Roger McDonald http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/mcdonald-roger
Issue Details: First known date: 1998... 1998 Mr Darwin's Shooter
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Last century Charles Darwin set out on a voyage in the Beagle that would change forever the way human history was viewed. It was on this voyage that Darwin collected the information that gave birth to his controversial Theory of Evolution.

'This is a novel of scientific discovery, of religious faith, of masters and servants, and of the endless wonder of the natural world. But its greatest triumph is Covington himself, the boy who looked up at the beckoning figure of a yellow-haired Christian in the stained glass window in his boyhood church of Bedford, and sought to follow.

'He leaves Bedford as a lad of 13 and goes to sea with the evangelical sailor John Phipps and becomes one of Phipps' 'lads'. But Phipps' catechising can't repress Covington's passage into manhood, nor prevent him chasing the exotic native maidens of Tierra del Fuego. When next he returns to sea it is to serve on the Beagle.

'Mr Darwin's Shooter re-creates the voyage of the Beagle, where Covington spends time exploring – and collecting specimens – inland. And we travel on to the Galapagos Islands, with their huge turtles and armadillos and remarkable finches. Years later, in Sydney's Watson's Bay in beset middle age, Covington awaits the arrival of the first copy of Darwin's The Origin of Species, which contains the scandalous theory of evolution. What part of his life might be in it? What truths may it contain? How can one man absorb the meaning of Creation?' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Dedication: To Elinor, Anna and Stella with love and to Susie with your spirit shining.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Milsons Point, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Knopf , 1998 .
      image of person or book cover 8558137270205588251.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 365p.
      ISBN: 0091836719
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Anchor ,
      1998 .
      image of person or book cover 604649147439448089.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 412p.
      ISBN: 1862300542 (pbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Atlantic Monthly Press ,
      1998 .
      image of person or book cover 5104478999284064181.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 365p.
      Edition info: 1st American edition
      Note/s:
      • Copyright date.
      ISBN: 087113733X
    • Milsons Point, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Vintage , 1999 .
      image of person or book cover 4904939267861870134.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 365p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 5 February 1999
      ISBN: 0091836700 (pbk.)
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Anchor ,
      1999 .
      image of person or book cover 5252326473832770758.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 414p.
      ISBN: 1862300550 (pbk.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Penguin ,
      2000 .
      image of person or book cover 4589468820233003133.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 365p.
      ISBN: 0140288597
    • North Sydney, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Vintage Australia , 2009 .
      image of person or book cover 5066069416116095960.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 365p.
      ISBN: 9781741666588 (pbk.)
Alternative title: La escopeta de Darwin
Language: Spanish

Other Formats

  • Also sound recording and braille.
  • Dyslexic edition.

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon Postcolonial Heritage and Settler Well-Being : The Historical Fictions of Roger McDonald Christopher Lee , Amherst : Cambria Press , 2018 15395794 2018 multi chapter work criticism

'The Australian writer Roger McDonald is the author of ten novels, two novelisations from and for film scripts, two television scripts, one semi-fictionalised memoir, a collection of essays, and two volumes of poetry. His publication record spans half a century from the late 1960s up until the late teens with his tenth novel, A Sea Chase, published in 2017. His books have achieved a significant record in the Australian list of literary awards and he has gone close to breaking into the major international prizes that distinguish the transnational careers of other contemporary Australian writers such as Thomas Keneally, Peter Carey, David Malouf, and, more recently, Kate Grenville. McDonald’s work has been published in London and New York as well as in the key metropolitan markets of his native Australia, and it has been translated into Spanish, German, and Swedish. 1915, his first novel, was adapted into an Australian Broadcasting Commission television series, which was shown on Australian screens in the early 1980s and distributed internationally.

'McDonald writes about ordinary characters whose lives have often been overtaken by historical forces they do not understand and cannot control. These men and women are commonly defined by whom they know and what they do rather than through the display of extraordinary qualities of mind, sensibility, or virtue. McDonald often situates his characters’ within foundational Australian historical periods such as the convict period, frontier settlement, the development of the pastoral industry, the Great War, the Golden Age of Aviation, and the Second World War and its aftermath. This later post-war period saw the transformation of Anglo-Celtic Australia by waves of initially southern and eastern European migration, followed by Asian and indeed wider international migration. The emerging multicultural character of the country coincided with the decline of rural Australia and the pastoral industry as the preferred locations for representative Australian types and values. These events or periods are well entrenched within the public memory of a White Australia and that enables McDonald to explore his characters’ search for purpose and fulfillment within the mythological registers of his nation’s postcolonial history.

'This study focuses on the books (five novels and the fictionalised memoir) in which McDonald has decided to situate his characters’ search for purpose and well-being within the mythological registers of colonial history. It explores McDonald’s investments in story and his developments in idiom and literary form, as endeavors to engage a wider public in the problem of postcolonial settlement. The common narrative problem is the elusiveness of a condition of Being that is well settled in the web of social, cultural, and environmental connections that are necessary for dwelling. McDonald pursues the possibilities for a wider more satisfying sense of human connection but his representations of the common man under the conditions of postcolonial modernity never allow that to come easily.'

Source: Abstract.

Time for the Timeless Marc McEvoy , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 9 January 2012; (p. 8-9)

— Review of The Vivisector Patrick White , 1970 single work novel ; Autumn Laing Alex Miller , 2011 single work novel ; The Slap Christos Tsiolkas , 2008 single work novel ; Ransom David Malouf , 2009 single work novel ; Caleb's Crossing : A Novel Geraldine Brooks , 2011 single work novel ; Bereft Chris Womersley , 2010 single work novel ; Cloudstreet Tim Winton , 1991 single work novel ; That Deadman Dance Kim Scott , 2010 single work novel ; The Secret River Kate Grenville , 2006 single work novel ; The Lieutenant Kate Grenville , 2008 single work novel ; Sarah Thornhill Kate Grenville , 2011 single work novel ; The Ballad of Desmond Kale Roger McDonald , 2005 single work novel ; Mr Darwin's Shooter Roger McDonald , 1998 single work novel
Untitled Victor Crittenden , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Margin , April no. 77 2009; (p. 10)

— Review of Mr Darwin's Shooter Roger McDonald , 1998 single work novel
An Anti-Slave to His Convictions Alison Bashford , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7-8 March 2009; (p. 37) The Age , 7 March 2009; (p. 22-23)

— Review of Mr Darwin's Shooter Roger McDonald , 1998 single work novel ; Charles Darwin in Australia F. W. Nicholas , J. M. Nicholas , 1989 single work biography
Confessions of a Tree-Hugger Janet Hawley , 2001 single work biography
— Appears in: Good Weekend , 29 September 2001; (p. 33, 35, 38, 40)
Books in Brief Craig Cormick , 1998 single work review
— Appears in: Blast , Winter no. 37 1998; (p. 25-26)

— Review of Land of the Golden Clouds Archie Weller , 1998 single work novel ; Ghosts of a Lost World Mark Uhlmann , 1998 selected work short story ; Mr Darwin's Shooter Roger McDonald , 1998 single work novel ; Secret Men's Business : Manhood : The Big Gig John Marsden , 1998 single work non-fiction ; Everything I Know About Writing John Marsden , 1993 single work criticism
An Anti-Slave to His Convictions Alison Bashford , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7-8 March 2009; (p. 37) The Age , 7 March 2009; (p. 22-23)

— Review of Mr Darwin's Shooter Roger McDonald , 1998 single work novel ; Charles Darwin in Australia F. W. Nicholas , J. M. Nicholas , 1989 single work biography
Untitled Victor Crittenden , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Margin , April no. 77 2009; (p. 10)

— Review of Mr Darwin's Shooter Roger McDonald , 1998 single work novel
Time for the Timeless Marc McEvoy , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 9 January 2012; (p. 8-9)

— Review of The Vivisector Patrick White , 1970 single work novel ; Autumn Laing Alex Miller , 2011 single work novel ; The Slap Christos Tsiolkas , 2008 single work novel ; Ransom David Malouf , 2009 single work novel ; Caleb's Crossing : A Novel Geraldine Brooks , 2011 single work novel ; Bereft Chris Womersley , 2010 single work novel ; Cloudstreet Tim Winton , 1991 single work novel ; That Deadman Dance Kim Scott , 2010 single work novel ; The Secret River Kate Grenville , 2006 single work novel ; The Lieutenant Kate Grenville , 2008 single work novel ; Sarah Thornhill Kate Grenville , 2011 single work novel ; The Ballad of Desmond Kale Roger McDonald , 2005 single work novel ; Mr Darwin's Shooter Roger McDonald , 1998 single work novel
Shifting Ground Carolyn Tetaz , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Autumn no. 154 1999; (p. 111-112)

— Review of Silences Long Gone Anson Cameron , 1998 single work novel ; Mr Darwin's Shooter Roger McDonald , 1998 single work novel
Deep Shadows James Bradley , 1998 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian's Review of Books , May vol. 3 no. 4 1998; (p. 23,30)
Between a Blessing and a Curse Jane Sullivan , 2000 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 23 January 2000; (p. 10)
Shadows of Darwin and Conrad Angela Bennie , 1999 single work biography
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 10 April 1999; (p. 8)
Happy as History Dianne Dempsey , 1999 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 29 May 1999; (p. 7)
Veterans Miles Ahead for Prize Rosemary Sorensen , 1999 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 1 June 1999; (p. 9)
Last amended 23 Sep 2019 11:16:18
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