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Twelve Miles Broad single work   short story   romance  
Issue Details: First known date: 1885... 1885 Twelve Miles Broad
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Australian tale of bushfire and romance. Christmas Day 1884 sees the narrator gallop across the dry tinder bushland to the home of his beloved Gretchen and her German father. A vengeful swagman, refusing to take his lunch and go peaceably, ignites a bushfire that destroys the homestead and nearly catches the escaping couple. Only one horse remaining at the homestead, the father had shot himself to persuade his daughter to go ... Well-told; still with an eye to the English reader. (PB)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon The Australian Journal vol. 21 no. 247 December 1885 Z1022410 1885 periodical issue 1885 pg. 187-188
  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon The Anthology of Colonial Australian Romance Fiction Ken Gelder (editor), Rachael Weaver (editor), Carlton : Melbourne University Press , 2010 Z1683333 2010 anthology short story extract romance (taught in 5 units)

    'The Anthology of Colonial Australian Romance Fiction collects captivating stories of love and passion, longing and regret. In these tales women arriving in the New World make decisions about relationships and marriage, social conventions, finances and career-and even the future of the nation itself. The "slim and graceful" Australian girl becomes a new character type: independent, self-possessed and full of promise. These stories also show women gaining experience about the world, and the men, around them. They are put to the test by a new life and a new place. And not every relationship works out well.

    The best of colonial Australian romance fiction is collected in this anthology, from writers such as Ada Cambridge, Rosa Praed, Francis Adams, Henry Lawson, Mura Leigh and many others.' (From the publisher's website.)

    Carlton : Melbourne University Press , 2010
    pg. 37-44

Works about this Work

Bushfires are Burning Bright in Australian Letters and Life Grace Moore , 2015 single work essay
— Appears in: The Conversation , 11 February 2015;
'The Heavens Were on Fire' : Incendiarism and the Defence of the Settler Home Grace Moore , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Domestic Fiction in Colonial Australia and New Zealand 2014; (p. 63-74)

'Drawing on Anthony Trollope's novella Harry Heathcote of Gangoil (1874), alongside more neglected material including Mary Fortune's 'Waif Wanderer' [sic] articles for the Australian Journal and J.S. Borlase's 'Twelve Miles Broad' (1885), this chapter analyses the threat posed to the home by the arsonist and the ways in which literary representations demonized the 'fire bug'. This piece also considers how fiction mediates emotional responses to fire, such as trauma and hatred, while exploring how literary representations of arsonists channelled deep-rooted anxieties about the precariousness of settler life and the vulnerability of the bush homestead. I pay particular attention to the gender and racial politics of firelighting as well as firefighting and to ways in which fictional stories of fire sought to assert the security of the (often vulnerable) homestead even as it is endangered by the appearance of an outsider.' (p.63)

'The Heavens Were on Fire' : Incendiarism and the Defence of the Settler Home Grace Moore , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Domestic Fiction in Colonial Australia and New Zealand 2014; (p. 63-74)

'Drawing on Anthony Trollope's novella Harry Heathcote of Gangoil (1874), alongside more neglected material including Mary Fortune's 'Waif Wanderer' [sic] articles for the Australian Journal and J.S. Borlase's 'Twelve Miles Broad' (1885), this chapter analyses the threat posed to the home by the arsonist and the ways in which literary representations demonized the 'fire bug'. This piece also considers how fiction mediates emotional responses to fire, such as trauma and hatred, while exploring how literary representations of arsonists channelled deep-rooted anxieties about the precariousness of settler life and the vulnerability of the bush homestead. I pay particular attention to the gender and racial politics of firelighting as well as firefighting and to ways in which fictional stories of fire sought to assert the security of the (often vulnerable) homestead even as it is endangered by the appearance of an outsider.' (p.63)

Bushfires are Burning Bright in Australian Letters and Life Grace Moore , 2015 single work essay
— Appears in: The Conversation , 11 February 2015;
Last amended 21 May 2010 11:13:28
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