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Cover image courtesy of publisher.
y separately published work icon Swords and Crowns and Rings single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1977... 1977 Swords and Crowns and Rings
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Ruth Park’s Miles Franklin-winning novel brilliantly evokes Australia in the midst of the Great Depression.

'Growing up in an Australian country town before World War I, Jackie Hanna and Cushie Moy are carefree and innocent in their love for each other. But Jackie is a dwarf, and his devotion to the beautiful Cushie is condemned by her parents. This is the story of their lifelong odyssey, and of the triumph of a special kind of courage.

'Written with warmth and affection, this is a powerful story about human nature and the strength of an unlikely love. Ruth Park brilliantly captures the mood of Australia in the first part of the twentieth century.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Dedication: For Gwen Gerrard Kennedy and her friends.

Affiliation Notes

  • Writing Disability in Australia:

    See C.A. Cranston's dissertation 'Deformity as Device in the Twentieth-century Australian Novel'.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • West Melbourne, Melbourne - West, Melbourne, Victoria,: Nelson , 1977 .
      Extent: 435p.
      ISBN: 0170052044
    • West Melbourne, Melbourne - West, Melbourne, Victoria,: Nelson , 1978 .
      Extent: 435p.
      ISBN: 0170053911
      Series: Sphere Books Nelson (publisher), series - publisher
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Michael Joseph ,
      1978 .
      Extent: 435p.
      ISBN: 0718116941
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Dell ,
      1980 .
      Extent: 448p.
      ISBN: 0440178428
    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 1988 .
      Extent: 435p.
      Reprinted: 1994
      ISBN: 0140114572 (pbk.), 014017608X
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2012 .
      image of person or book cover 452906606378357560.jpg
      Cover image courtesy of publisher.
      Extent: 400p.
      Note/s:
      • Published 26 September 2014

        Introduction by Alice Pung

      Series: y separately published work icon Text Classics Text Publishing (publisher), Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012- Z1851461 2012 series - publisher novel 'Great books by great Australian storytellers.' (Text website.)

Other Formats

  • Also braille, sound recording.

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon Literary Migrations : White, English-Speaking Migrant Writers in Australia Ingeborg van Teeseling , Wollongong : 2011 Z1860612 2011 single work thesis 'In this thesis, I am arguing that [a] false core/periphery binary has made a particular group of migrants ,-those who are white and have migrated from English-speaking countries - invisible - invisible as migrants, that is. For the writers within this group, this leads to a critical blindness in relation to their work and place within Australian national literature. As a critic, however, I look at the work of Ruth Park, Alex Miller and John Mateer and see it is profoundly influenced by their migrant experience. More often than not they write about themes that are typical of migrant writing: alienation, identity, belonging, home, being in-between cultures, history. For a more appropriate, complete appreciation of their work, this thesis argues that it is imperative to go back to the beginning and return the 'default setting' of migrant to its literal meaning.' [From the author's abstract]
y separately published work icon Deformity as Device in the Twentieth-century Australian Novel C. A. Cranston , Hobart : 1991 16505805 1991 single work thesis

'This study is based on several assumptions: it recognises that the person who is deformed has an existence both in the world and in the novel; it recognises that in both the world and the novel the deformed-being has borne a negative
stigma. It also recognises that a literature reflects its culture, as must the characters who exist within that literature. As Harry Heseltine states succinctly: 'No writer invents his metaphors ex nihilo; in the long run he finds them somewhere in the range of possibility that his culture makes available to him'. This study asks: can that most marginalised of all characters, the deformed-being, provide any revelations about the self, about the novel, the reader of the novel, and the culture within which all exist? The answer in each case is an unequivocal yes. Each chapter is devoted to a particular character in a major Australian novel; comparisons are made with other literary works, Australian and non- Australian. The individual chapters reveal the metaphors and symbolism attached to the character's particular deformity, and demonstrate how the deformed body informs the body of the text. The whole study presents an overall picture of deformity as a fairly consistent and an often-utilised metaphor. Chapter One provides a general survey of deformity as a metaphor. Chapter Two looks at Louis Stone's Jonah (1911), in which the hunchbacked larrikin character is a post-colonial interpretation of the traditionally conjoined outcast states, deformity and criminality. In Chapter Three the dwarf Jackie in Ruth Park's Swords and Crowns and Rings (1977) is seen as a metaphor for non-conformity during a time when Australia was signalling a resistance to the Old-World moulding. Chapter Four is also concerned with the post-colonial identity as revealed through the dwarf and half-caste Billy Kwan in C. J. Koch's The Year of Living Dangerously (1978); it questions an identity that is 'imposed', whether at a national or individual level. In Chapter Five the relationship of the hunchbacked dwarf Rhoda Courtney with her adopted brother, the artist Duffield, in Patrick White's The Vivisector (1970) places deformity in the tradition of the kunstlerroman. In Chapter Six, Koch's The Doubleman (1985) is shown to combine elements of the kunstlerroman while raising questions about the post-colonial identity through the dualities arising out of the doppelganger: spiritual, bodily, and cultural displacement are all focussed by the device of Richard Miller's lameness. Chapter Seven moves from deformity that is congenital or disease-originated, to disability or deformity that is human-caused (either by negligence or intervention), thus allowing a discussion of the importance of the etiology of deformity as a device: in Thea Astley's The Acolyte (1972) Jack Holberg's blindness is caused by fly-strike. Chapter Eight examines the use of terror evoked through archetypal evolution of the lame crone Hester Harper in Elizabeth Jolley's The Well (1985). In Chapter Nine the crypto-dwarf Arthur Blackberry in James McQueen's Hook's Mountain (1982) is portrayed with the accompanying baggage of dwarf mythology; his implicit demise raises questions about our responses towards the deformed. Chapter Ten is a literary history of eugenics, as seen primarily through Eleanor Dark's Prelude to Christopher (1934) and Christina Stead's The Man Who Loved Children (1940). The conclusion discusses the initial, problems of dealing with a taboo topic, along with reasons for excluding autobiographical treatments of deformity, biographical portrayals, war novels, and children's literature. Finally, Leslie Fiedler's comment that deformity is the reigning metaphor of our age is shown to be particularly apt in an Australian context.'

Source: Abstract.

Untitled Margot Luke , 1989 single work review
— Appears in: The Good Reading Guide 1989; (p. 222-223)

— Review of Swords and Crowns and Rings Ruth Park , 1977 single work novel
A Mixed Selection : from Humdrum to Wryly Amusing Veronica Sen , 1988 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 November 1988; (p. 21)

— Review of Swords and Crowns and Rings Ruth Park , 1977 single work novel
New Paperbacks Robin Lucas , 1988 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 15 October 1988; (p. 87)

— Review of Swords and Crowns and Rings Ruth Park , 1977 single work novel ; Beyond the Echo : Multicultural Women's Writing 1988 anthology poetry short story
Worlds of Their Own : Preoccupations in Recent Fiction Peter Pierce , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: Meanjin , Autumn vol. 37 no. 1 1978; (p. 61-70)

— Review of Swords and Crowns and Rings Ruth Park , 1977 single work novel ; Thoroughly Decent People : A Folktale Glen Tomasetti , 1976 single work novel ; Walking Through Tigerland : Stories Barry Oakley , 1977 selected work short story ; Death of the Early Morning Hero Gary Langford , 1976 single work novel ; The Second Chair Don Aitkin , 1977 single work novel ; It Chris Aulich , 1977 single work novel ; The Paper Castle Robert Macklin , 1977 single work novel
New Paperbacks Robin Lucas , 1988 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 15 October 1988; (p. 87)

— Review of Swords and Crowns and Rings Ruth Park , 1977 single work novel ; Beyond the Echo : Multicultural Women's Writing 1988 anthology poetry short story
A Mixed Selection : from Humdrum to Wryly Amusing Veronica Sen , 1988 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 November 1988; (p. 21)

— Review of Swords and Crowns and Rings Ruth Park , 1977 single work novel
Untitled Margot Luke , 1989 single work review
— Appears in: The Good Reading Guide 1989; (p. 222-223)

— Review of Swords and Crowns and Rings Ruth Park , 1977 single work novel
y separately published work icon Literary Migrations : White, English-Speaking Migrant Writers in Australia Ingeborg van Teeseling , Wollongong : 2011 Z1860612 2011 single work thesis 'In this thesis, I am arguing that [a] false core/periphery binary has made a particular group of migrants ,-those who are white and have migrated from English-speaking countries - invisible - invisible as migrants, that is. For the writers within this group, this leads to a critical blindness in relation to their work and place within Australian national literature. As a critic, however, I look at the work of Ruth Park, Alex Miller and John Mateer and see it is profoundly influenced by their migrant experience. More often than not they write about themes that are typical of migrant writing: alienation, identity, belonging, home, being in-between cultures, history. For a more appropriate, complete appreciation of their work, this thesis argues that it is imperative to go back to the beginning and return the 'default setting' of migrant to its literal meaning.' [From the author's abstract]
y separately published work icon Deformity as Device in the Twentieth-century Australian Novel C. A. Cranston , Hobart : 1991 16505805 1991 single work thesis

'This study is based on several assumptions: it recognises that the person who is deformed has an existence both in the world and in the novel; it recognises that in both the world and the novel the deformed-being has borne a negative
stigma. It also recognises that a literature reflects its culture, as must the characters who exist within that literature. As Harry Heseltine states succinctly: 'No writer invents his metaphors ex nihilo; in the long run he finds them somewhere in the range of possibility that his culture makes available to him'. This study asks: can that most marginalised of all characters, the deformed-being, provide any revelations about the self, about the novel, the reader of the novel, and the culture within which all exist? The answer in each case is an unequivocal yes. Each chapter is devoted to a particular character in a major Australian novel; comparisons are made with other literary works, Australian and non- Australian. The individual chapters reveal the metaphors and symbolism attached to the character's particular deformity, and demonstrate how the deformed body informs the body of the text. The whole study presents an overall picture of deformity as a fairly consistent and an often-utilised metaphor. Chapter One provides a general survey of deformity as a metaphor. Chapter Two looks at Louis Stone's Jonah (1911), in which the hunchbacked larrikin character is a post-colonial interpretation of the traditionally conjoined outcast states, deformity and criminality. In Chapter Three the dwarf Jackie in Ruth Park's Swords and Crowns and Rings (1977) is seen as a metaphor for non-conformity during a time when Australia was signalling a resistance to the Old-World moulding. Chapter Four is also concerned with the post-colonial identity as revealed through the dwarf and half-caste Billy Kwan in C. J. Koch's The Year of Living Dangerously (1978); it questions an identity that is 'imposed', whether at a national or individual level. In Chapter Five the relationship of the hunchbacked dwarf Rhoda Courtney with her adopted brother, the artist Duffield, in Patrick White's The Vivisector (1970) places deformity in the tradition of the kunstlerroman. In Chapter Six, Koch's The Doubleman (1985) is shown to combine elements of the kunstlerroman while raising questions about the post-colonial identity through the dualities arising out of the doppelganger: spiritual, bodily, and cultural displacement are all focussed by the device of Richard Miller's lameness. Chapter Seven moves from deformity that is congenital or disease-originated, to disability or deformity that is human-caused (either by negligence or intervention), thus allowing a discussion of the importance of the etiology of deformity as a device: in Thea Astley's The Acolyte (1972) Jack Holberg's blindness is caused by fly-strike. Chapter Eight examines the use of terror evoked through archetypal evolution of the lame crone Hester Harper in Elizabeth Jolley's The Well (1985). In Chapter Nine the crypto-dwarf Arthur Blackberry in James McQueen's Hook's Mountain (1982) is portrayed with the accompanying baggage of dwarf mythology; his implicit demise raises questions about our responses towards the deformed. Chapter Ten is a literary history of eugenics, as seen primarily through Eleanor Dark's Prelude to Christopher (1934) and Christina Stead's The Man Who Loved Children (1940). The conclusion discusses the initial, problems of dealing with a taboo topic, along with reasons for excluding autobiographical treatments of deformity, biographical portrayals, war novels, and children's literature. Finally, Leslie Fiedler's comment that deformity is the reigning metaphor of our age is shown to be particularly apt in an Australian context.'

Source: Abstract.

Last amended 13 May 2019 15:11:39
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