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y separately published work icon Love and the Platypus single work   novel   historical fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 Love and the Platypus
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In 1883 young British naturalist William Caldwell arrives in Australia with a mission: to determine for the scientific record whether platypuses really are egg-laying mammals. But first he must travel overland to the Burnett River in Queensland, where he intends to set up camp. On his journey he is by turns hindered and assisted by a cast of characters, including a drunken bullocky and an inscrutable, poetical bushman. Once there, William commences his investigations and encounters the local Aboriginal people, enlisting their help and ultimately learning their tragic history. He also meets a young blind woman with many closely held secrets of her own.

'Love and the Platypus is a delightful, captivating novel that examines the obsessive nature of scientific enquiry and its environmental consequences, and the wonders of nature and of romantic love.' (Publisher's blurb)

Notes

  • Epigraph: Extract from The Southlanders (1860) by M. Fox beginning: There is a land in distant seas/ Full of all Contrarities.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Carlton North, Parkville - Carlton area, Melbourne - North, Melbourne, Victoria,: Scribe , 2007 .
      Extent: 341p.
      ISBN: 9781921215209 (pbk.)

Works about this Work

The Matter of Fact : Science and Identity in Contemporary Australian Literature Anna-Sophie Jürgens , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , November no. 65 2019;

'To pursue ‘knowledge per se’, to unlock ‘the secrets of the organism’ and to act as an explorer ‘not of untrodden lands, perhaps, but of the mysteries of nature’—these are the reasons why the naturalist William Caldwell travels to Australia in Nicholas Drayson’s 2007 novel Love and the Platypus (9, 59, 144). Caldwell’s research is ‘purely platypusical’ (98): he aims to determine whether the platypus really does lay eggs. The ‘spirit of discovery—that was why he was here, was it not?’ (3) The spirit of discovery and the obsessive nature of his scientific enquiry appear to characterise Drayson’s protagonist as a scientist. However, as I hope to show in this paper, the definition of the literary scientist-protagonist—or its stereotype, in the words of Roslynn Haynes—is open for debate when it comes to the practice of science in fiction. To prove my point, I investigate how the practice of science in contemporary Australian fiction intertwines with identity narratives. As shown in the following, these narratives revolve around the reasons and ambitions of fictional protagonists to engage with science.' (Introduction)

Eight Great Australian Fictional Scientists Worth Reading about Anna-Sophie Jürgens , 2019 single work
— Appears in: The Conversation , 12 February 2019;

'Australian scientists have led many crucial scientific breakthroughs – from the manufacturing and processing of penicillin, to the first in-vitro fertilisation pregnancy. Yet there is still a need for science to be more widely appreciated in our broader culture.' (Introduction)

Finding Fiction in Facts David Curry , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: Sunday Canberra Times , 3 January 2010; (p. 19)
[Untitled] Peter Christiansen , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Viewpoint : On Books For Young Adults , Winter vol. 16 no. 2 2008; (p. 20)

— Review of Love and the Platypus Nicholas Drayson , 2007 single work novel
Untitled Gillian Dooley , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Adelaide Review , 3 - 16 August no. 322 2007; (p. 24)

— Review of Love and the Platypus Nicholas Drayson , 2007 single work novel
Untitled Andrea Hanke , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , March vol. 86 no. 7 2007; (p. 39)

— Review of Love and the Platypus Nicholas Drayson , 2007 single work novel
Method and a Little Madness Emma Cox , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 6-8 April 2007; (p. 34)

— Review of Love and the Platypus Nicholas Drayson , 2007 single work novel
Books Fiction Daina Gillespie , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 14 - 15 April 2007; (p. 22)

— Review of Love and the Platypus Nicholas Drayson , 2007 single work novel
What the Platypus Did First Peter Pierce , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 21 April 2007; (p. 23)

— Review of Love and the Platypus Nicholas Drayson , 2007 single work novel
Love Discovered in Platonic Pursuit of the Platypus Jem Poster , 2007 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 28-29 April 2007; (p. 13)

— Review of Love and the Platypus Nicholas Drayson , 2007 single work novel
Platypus Musing Rachel Cunneen , 2007 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 7 April 2007; (p. 11-12)
Finding Fiction in Facts David Curry , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: Sunday Canberra Times , 3 January 2010; (p. 19)
Eight Great Australian Fictional Scientists Worth Reading about Anna-Sophie Jürgens , 2019 single work
— Appears in: The Conversation , 12 February 2019;

'Australian scientists have led many crucial scientific breakthroughs – from the manufacturing and processing of penicillin, to the first in-vitro fertilisation pregnancy. Yet there is still a need for science to be more widely appreciated in our broader culture.' (Introduction)

The Matter of Fact : Science and Identity in Contemporary Australian Literature Anna-Sophie Jürgens , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , November no. 65 2019;

'To pursue ‘knowledge per se’, to unlock ‘the secrets of the organism’ and to act as an explorer ‘not of untrodden lands, perhaps, but of the mysteries of nature’—these are the reasons why the naturalist William Caldwell travels to Australia in Nicholas Drayson’s 2007 novel Love and the Platypus (9, 59, 144). Caldwell’s research is ‘purely platypusical’ (98): he aims to determine whether the platypus really does lay eggs. The ‘spirit of discovery—that was why he was here, was it not?’ (3) The spirit of discovery and the obsessive nature of his scientific enquiry appear to characterise Drayson’s protagonist as a scientist. However, as I hope to show in this paper, the definition of the literary scientist-protagonist—or its stereotype, in the words of Roslynn Haynes—is open for debate when it comes to the practice of science in fiction. To prove my point, I investigate how the practice of science in contemporary Australian fiction intertwines with identity narratives. As shown in the following, these narratives revolve around the reasons and ambitions of fictional protagonists to engage with science.' (Introduction)

Last amended 18 Oct 2013 16:10:35
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