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y separately published work icon Mary Summers : A Romance of the Australian Bush single work   novel   romance  
Note: Author of: 'Uncle John', 'The White Woman of Mundarrah', 'The Regent's Vengeance', 'Whakeau the Pakeha Maori', 'Matutira, the Maori Queen' etc.
First known date: 1865 Issue Details: First known date: 1865... 1865 Mary Summers : A Romance of the Australian Bush
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Opens in Australia, then flashes back to Manchester where a female factory worker is seduced by her boss, and a young girl, Mary Summers, is orphaned. Mary comes to Australia. In Australia, Detective Turner spies on a gang of cattle duffers. One of the gang is suspected of murder, and Turner is trying to track him. The gang robs a farm and kidnaps Mary Summers. She is saved by a local squatter with whom she falls in love. Nell Brown, the seduced factory worker, is living in Sydney slums and she helps Turner. Eventually, the crimes are solved with the help of a black tracker. Detective Turner falls in love with the murderer’s widow, he leaves the police force and works in her pub.

Notes

  • Advertised in the 1st no. of the AJ, p. 13. (PB)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1865
Serialised by: The Australian Journal 1865 periodical (901 issues)
      1865 .
      Note/s:
      • Serialised in fifteen instalments in the Australian Journal between 2 September 1865 and 6 January 1866.
    • Cook, Belconnen area, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory,: Mulini Press , 1994 .
      Extent: [xi], 99p.p.
      Description: port., illus.
      Written as: Robert Whitworth
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Victor Crittenden.
      • A note on the text explains several changes made to the original manuscript and its details of publication in the Australian Journal in 1865.
      ISBN: 0949910414

Works about this Work

Colonial Australian Detectives, Character Type and the Colonial Economy Ken Gelder , Rachael Weaver , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: New Directions in Popular Fiction : Genre, Distribution, Reproduction 2016; (p. 43-66)

'Crime fiction started early in Australia, emerging out of the experiences of transportation and the convict system at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The first Australian (that is, locally published) novel is generally agreed to be Quintus Servinton (1832), written by Henry Savery, a convicted forger who was transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) in 1825 and—convicted once more of forging financial documents—died as a prisoner in Port Arthur in 1842. Quintus Servinton is a kind of semi-autobiographical fantasy that imagines its entrepreneurial protagonist’s redemption: surviving his conviction and jail sentence in order to return to England with his beloved wife. We can note here that it does four important things in terms of the future of crime narratives in Australia. Firstly, it presents colonial Australia as a place already defined by an apparatus of policing, legal systems and governance, where ‘justice’ can at least potentially work to restore an individual’s status and liberty: for example, through convict emancipation. Secondly, it insists that the experience of incarceration and punishment is crucial to that character’s reintegration into respectable life: ‘the stains that had marked him’, we are told, ‘were removed by the discipline he had been made to endure’ (Savery, vol. 3, ch. XIII, n.p.). Thirdly, the novel ties the colonial economy to financial investment and growth on the one hand, and fraud or forgery on the other. These apparent opposites are folded together at the moment of settlement to the extent that the phrase ‘forging the colonial economy’ is a kind of potent double entendre. Prominent transported forgers included the colonial artists Thomas Whatling (transported 1791), Joseph Lycett (transported 1814), Thomas Wainewright (transported 1837) and of course Henry Savery himself. In Savery’s novel, Quintus Servinton is ‘thunderstruck’ when someone explains the conventional distinction between legitimate financial deals and forgeries: ‘You surely do not mean, Sir, it can be a forgery, to issue paper bearing the names of persons who never existed….If that be the case…many commercial men innocently issue forgeries every day of their lives’ (vol. 1, ch. III, n.p.). This takes us to the fourth point: that crime fiction in Australia is also about imposture, where characters do indeed adopt ‘the names of persons who never existed’. The mutability of colonial characters—the question of how real (authentic) or fictional (fraudulent) they might be, and the impacts this has socially and fiscally on the colonial scene—soon becomes a tremendous problem for emergent systems of policing and governance in Australia. As Janet C. Myers notes, ‘the linkage between emigration and crime forged through convict transportation continued to evoke anxieties….The atmosphere in which such anxieties were nurtured was one of rapid social mobility and shifting identities in the Antipodes’ (2009, p. 83).' (Introduction)

Untitled 1995 single work review
— Appears in: Margin , April no. 35 1995; (p. 39)

— Review of Mary Summers : A Romance of the Australian Bush Robert P. Whitworth , 1865 single work novel
Who Was Robert Whitworth? Victor Crittenden , 1995 single work biography
— Appears in: Margin , April no. 35 1995; (p. 2-6)
Untitled 1995 single work review
— Appears in: Margin , April no. 35 1995; (p. 39)

— Review of Mary Summers : A Romance of the Australian Bush Robert P. Whitworth , 1865 single work novel
Who Was Robert Whitworth? Victor Crittenden , 1995 single work biography
— Appears in: Margin , April no. 35 1995; (p. 2-6)
Colonial Australian Detectives, Character Type and the Colonial Economy Ken Gelder , Rachael Weaver , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: New Directions in Popular Fiction : Genre, Distribution, Reproduction 2016; (p. 43-66)

'Crime fiction started early in Australia, emerging out of the experiences of transportation and the convict system at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The first Australian (that is, locally published) novel is generally agreed to be Quintus Servinton (1832), written by Henry Savery, a convicted forger who was transported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) in 1825 and—convicted once more of forging financial documents—died as a prisoner in Port Arthur in 1842. Quintus Servinton is a kind of semi-autobiographical fantasy that imagines its entrepreneurial protagonist’s redemption: surviving his conviction and jail sentence in order to return to England with his beloved wife. We can note here that it does four important things in terms of the future of crime narratives in Australia. Firstly, it presents colonial Australia as a place already defined by an apparatus of policing, legal systems and governance, where ‘justice’ can at least potentially work to restore an individual’s status and liberty: for example, through convict emancipation. Secondly, it insists that the experience of incarceration and punishment is crucial to that character’s reintegration into respectable life: ‘the stains that had marked him’, we are told, ‘were removed by the discipline he had been made to endure’ (Savery, vol. 3, ch. XIII, n.p.). Thirdly, the novel ties the colonial economy to financial investment and growth on the one hand, and fraud or forgery on the other. These apparent opposites are folded together at the moment of settlement to the extent that the phrase ‘forging the colonial economy’ is a kind of potent double entendre. Prominent transported forgers included the colonial artists Thomas Whatling (transported 1791), Joseph Lycett (transported 1814), Thomas Wainewright (transported 1837) and of course Henry Savery himself. In Savery’s novel, Quintus Servinton is ‘thunderstruck’ when someone explains the conventional distinction between legitimate financial deals and forgeries: ‘You surely do not mean, Sir, it can be a forgery, to issue paper bearing the names of persons who never existed….If that be the case…many commercial men innocently issue forgeries every day of their lives’ (vol. 1, ch. III, n.p.). This takes us to the fourth point: that crime fiction in Australia is also about imposture, where characters do indeed adopt ‘the names of persons who never existed’. The mutability of colonial characters—the question of how real (authentic) or fictional (fraudulent) they might be, and the impacts this has socially and fiscally on the colonial scene—soon becomes a tremendous problem for emergent systems of policing and governance in Australia. As Janet C. Myers notes, ‘the linkage between emigration and crime forged through convict transportation continued to evoke anxieties….The atmosphere in which such anxieties were nurtured was one of rapid social mobility and shifting identities in the Antipodes’ (2009, p. 83).' (Introduction)

Last amended 2 Aug 2010 15:52:22
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