Issue Details: First known date: 2007... 2007 'Where Sydney Cove Her Lucid Bosom Swells' : The Songs of an Imagined 'Nation', 1786-1789
AustLit is a subscription service. The content and services available here are limited because you have not been recognised as a subscriber. Find out how to gain full access to AustLit

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

In the years between the mooting of the Botany Bay scheme (1786), and the news of the founding of the New South Wales penal colony reaching England (1789), a number of songs were written which envisaged the Botany Bay colony as a new 'nation'. While the survival of many of these pieces in broadside ballad form have led to their being placed within the Australian 'transportation ballad' tradition, they were not folk ballads but popular songs which generally used the themes of transportation and the penal colony to make satirical or comic comment on contemporary English politics and society. This article examines the contexts and meanings of these songs, examining their reception, audiences and publishing history, in an effort to question their placement within the Australian ballad tradition, to interrogate the views expressed on nation-building and on the structure of eighteenth-century British society, and to examine the connections between Georgian elite and popular cultures.


  • This essay won the Literature Compass Graduate Essay Prize for 2006 (Eighteenth Century section).

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Last amended 7 Oct 2016 12:38:50
'Where Sydney Cove Her Lucid Bosom Swells' : The Songs of an Imagined 'Nation', 1786-1789AustLit Literature Compass
  • c
    United Kingdom (UK),
    Western Europe, Europe,
  • 1780s
    Powered by Trove