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image of person or book cover 4571332817971461560.jpg
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y separately published work icon Out of Ireland single work   novel  
Is part of Beware of the Past Christopher Koch , 1995 series - author novel
Issue Details: First known date: 1999... 1999 Out of Ireland
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'A leader of the Young Ireland rebellion of 1848, Robert Devereaux is an Irish gentleman who is prepared to hazard a life of privilege in the fight for his country's freedom. transported to Van Diemen's land as a political prisoner, he enters a life that greatly changes him, falling in love with a young Irish convict woman. Through Kathleen O'Rahilly he comes to know the people he's long romanticised; but his cause, and the life he has lost, will not let him go.'

Source: Publisher's blurb (HarperCollins 2013 ed.)




  • Companion novel to Highways to a War. In the author note to the 1999 edition of Highways to a War, Koch describes the two novels as a dyptich entitled Beware of the Past, the first line of a poem by James McAuley used as an epigraph to the later novel.
  • Dedication: For Robin
  • Epigraph: Out of Ireland have we come./Great hatred, little room,/Maimed us at the start./I carry from my mother's womb/A fanatic heart. (W. B. Yeats, 'Remorse for Intemperate Speech')

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Sydney, New South Wales,: Doubleday , 1999 .
      image of person or book cover 4571332817971461560.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: x,706p.p.
      ISBN: 1864710381
    • London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Vintage UK ,
      2000 .
      image of person or book cover 3751606680830715698.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: x, 706p.p.
      • This edition has subtitle: Volume Two of Beware of the Past
      ISBN: 0099331713

Other Formats

  • Sound recording.
  • Large print.

Works about this Work

Christopher Koch : Crossing Sea Walls Chad Habel , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Something Rich and Strange : Sea Changes, Beaches and the Littoral in the Antipodes 2009; (p. 224-231)
Discusses some of Koch's novels with focus on the notion of crossing boundaries and entering new spaces, where transformation of identities is possible. Using sea travel and the sea wall as a boundary which serves to prevent a crossing, the novels focus on liminal spaces, but the transformative potential of such liminal spaces is rarely fulfilled. The notion of 'crossing over' 'serves to help understand Koch's fiction as a unified body of work' (231), representing a coherent vision despite shifts in focus and emphasis.
y separately published work icon Ancestral Narratives: Irish-Australian Identities in History and Fiction Chad Habel , Saarbrucken : VDM Verlag , 2008-2009 Z1664583 2008-2009 single work criticism
Colonisation, Convicts, and National Convictions : C.J. Koch's 'Out Of Ireland' and Kate Grenville's 'The Secret River' Dunya Lindsey , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Fact and Fiction : Readings in Australian Literature 2008; (p. 42-56)
y separately published work icon Water from the Moon : Illusion and Reality in the Works of Australian Novelist Christopher Koch Jean-François Vernay , Youngstown : Cambria Press , 2007 Z1337091 2007 multi chapter work criticism

'Author of six novels, Christopher John Koch (born in 1932) is one of Australia’s leading novelists who enjoys worldwide recognition. Koch’s writing has its finger on the pulse of today’s changing society. Not only does his work fall within a universal stream but it also stands out as a production of its own, built like a puzzle with distinct pieces. Through fiction, Koch explores other genres – the fairy tale, drama, poetry – to the point of producing multi-faceted works which challenge classification. In spite of the constant renewal of his settings for action, one notices the presence of a main thread which runs through Koch’s fiction: the antipodean and ambiguous relationship between illusion and reality.

'This theoretically informed monograph provides a book-by-book analysis of the novelist’s œuvre and gives a full picture of his Weltanschauung. It is valuable reference for scholars in Australian Studies, as well as those researching postcolonial, psychoanalytic and literary theories.

'This book is winner of the Excellence Award 2009 by the THESE-PAC jury (le prix THESE-PAC, Prix Jean-Pierre Piérard) in the South Pacific-Australasia category.'

(Publication summary)

Recolonisation and Disinheritance : The Case of Tasmania Peter Pierce , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Critics and Writers Speak : Revisioning Post-Colonial Studies 2006; (p. 106-114)
'The essay discusses the appropriations of the history and landscape of Tasmania, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and particularly by outsiders to the state, whether they are European or from the Australian mainland' (106). Pierce draws on the texts cited above, and on critical responses to these texts to demonstrate the conflicted experiences of departure from Tasmania and, in some cases, an equally unsettling return.
Fact and Fiction in a Tasmanian Diary Richard O'Brien , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: Tain , Jan-Feb no. 1 2000; (p. 21-22)

— Review of Out of Ireland Christopher Koch , 1999 single work novel
Controversy About John Mitchell's Influence on Christopher Koch Val Noone , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: Tain , October no. 9 2000; (p. 20-21)

— Review of Out of Ireland Christopher Koch , 1999 single work novel
Swept So Far Away Frank Devine , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 October 1999; (p. 14)

— Review of Out of Ireland Christopher Koch , 1999 single work novel ; Highways to a War Christopher Koch , 1995 single work novel
Highways to a Freedom Michael Sharkey , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 2 October 1999; (p. 7)

— Review of Out of Ireland Christopher Koch , 1999 single work novel
Unfamiliar Mirror on Australia's Making Mark Thomas , 1999 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times Sunday Times , 3 October 1999; (p. 18)

— Review of Out of Ireland Christopher Koch , 1999 single work novel
Christopher Koch, Out of Ireland : No More 'Hiding the Stain' Chad Habel , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies in the 21st Century 2001; (p. [128]-134)
Habel discusses the significance of ancestry for Koch's characters with focus on Langford in Highways to War and Devereaux in Out of Ireland.
'Going Double': Exploring Contradictions of Australianness in Christopher Koch's Out of Ireland (1999) Andreas Gaile , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 16 no. 2 2002; (p. 151-156)
Gaile begins by highlighting works published in the 1990s and the early 21st century that have resulted in putting 'Irishness back onto the public and academic agenda' in Australia. He then focuses on one of the main themes of Christopher Koch's Out of Ireland, 'the all-encompassing duality motif'. Gaile examines Koch's treatment of English-Irish relations in Australia and analyses how Koch 'handles the controversy between these two opposing forces in an antipodean context' with particular emphasis on the 'hell vs. paradise' opposition depicted through the novel's Tasmanian setting.
Koch : From Dis to Boeotia Chad Habel , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Regenerative Spirit : Volume 1 : Polarities of Home and Away, Encounters and Diasporas, in Post-Colonial Literatures 2003; (p. 84-90)
Author's introduction: 'This essay will discuss Koch's most recent novel, Out of Ireland, in which concepts of "home" and "away" demonstrate clear relevance to post-colonial studies. One of Koch's central concerns is the fundamental opposition between cityscape and landscape, symbolised by his evocation of the mythical lands Dis and Boeotia. Within this construct we glimpse Koch's views of society and of the human spirit, as well as a final warning about the dangers of harbouring a romantic sensibility.' (84)
About Ireland John Molony (interviewer), 1999 single work interview
— Appears in: Muse , December no. 191 1999; (p. 5)
Of Land, of Light : The Colonial Landscape in Malouf and Koch Maureen Lynch Percopo , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Paesaggi australiani / Australian Landscapes 2004; (p. 93-116)
Last amended 11 Jun 2020 14:02:33
  • c
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • Van Diemen's Land (1803-1856), Tasmania,
  • c
  • 1840s
  • 1850s
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