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y separately published work icon Manning Clark : A Life single work   biography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2008... 2008 Manning Clark : A Life
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Manning Clark was one of the most influential Australian intellectuals of the last half century. His political pronouncements were often highly provocative and his sweeping judgements, dire denunciations and oracular prophecies infuriated conservatives and made him a controversial figure.

'His most enduring legacy, however, was his magisterial six-volume History of Australia. In it he reshaped the now familiar story of our nation's modern evolution; from the First Fleet's arrival, the convicts, the rum rebellion, gold, the sheep's back, Federation, and the glorious defeat at Gallipoli, up to the nation emerging from the Great Depression and on the threshold of a new world war. Within the dramatic narrative, which he envisaged as an epic, are highly original and insightful portraits of its great men with their tragic flaws: Phillip, Macquarie, Burke and Wills, Bligh, Wentworth, and above all Henry Lawson.

'But behind this ambitious work - with its more than a million words and twenty-five, long slogging years of research and scholarship - was a man as flawed as the historical figures he was presenting, figures in whose personalities and life events he often saw himself dauntingly mirrored. He was wracked with self-doubt, and dogged by fears of failure and personal weakness, he craved forgiveness for the betrayals that stalked and threatened his marriage to Dymphna, and wrestled with an elusive Christ in whom he longed to have a secure faith. Behind the signature broad hat and the stern unsmiling visage was a tortured man.

'That is the complex, enigmatic and thoroughly enthralling Clark who emerges in this remarkable biography by Brian Matthews, whose previous acclaimed memoir of Louise [sic] Lawson was judged to be both ground breaking and revolutionary. Manning Clark: A Life draws a compelling portrait of the great historian, who attracted both critics and acolytes alike in equal number. Both sides can expect to be astounded and captivated.' (Publisher's blurb)

Notes

  • Dedication: For Xavier Matthews 2007- and in memory of Axel Clark 1943-2001

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2008 .
      Extent: 450p.
      Note/s:
      • Publication date: November 2008.
      ISBN: 9781741143782 (hbk.)

Works about this Work

Country and Lives : Australian Biography and Its History Melanie Nolan , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Cercles , no. 35 2015;
'There have been attempts to relate national characteristics “by reference to climate, habitat and soil and investing the collective subject with psychological attributes” for over two millennia. More recently historians of modern nationalism developed elaborate typologies often citing Martin Heidegger’s arguments that “the being of the human finds its essence in the being of place — the belonging together of being and topos” [MALPAS 2012 : 5-6]. And yet the challenge to the ontological connection between self and place, what Jeff Malpas describes as the “topological analysis of self and identity”, has a long philosophical tradition, too. This debate over experience, biography and nation has implications for historians who have raised empirical questions about the development of collective sensibilities over time among recent emigrant peoples, their physical peculiarities, behaviourial quirks and emergent national character. In this paper I consider the role that biography writing played in the construction of an Australian national identity geared to what Pierre Nora famously termed as the “roman national”, or the collective discourse on the history of the nation and its place in the world. I argue that Australian historians played a significant role in the history of biograpy writing and, related to it, the debate over collective Australian identity.' (Introduction)
Untitled Shauna Hicks , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: Archives and Manuscripts , May vol. 39 no. 1 2011; (p. 249-252)

— Review of Manning Clark : A Life Brian Matthews , 2008 single work biography ; Ever, Manning: Selected Correspondence of Manning Clark, 1938-1991 Manning Clark , 2008 selected work correspondence
Untitled D K Fieldhouse , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Reviews in Australian Studies , vol. 4 no. 1 2010;

— Review of Manning Clark : A Life Brian Matthews , 2008 single work biography ; Ever, Manning: Selected Correspondence of Manning Clark, 1938-1991 Manning Clark , 2008 selected work correspondence
Deciphering Manning Clark James Massola , 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 24 May 2010; (p. 3)
Matthews Wins Award 2010 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 18 May 2010; (p. 24)
Untitled Brendan Gullifer , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Bookseller + Publisher Magazine , October vol. 88 no. 4 2008; (p. 38)

— Review of Manning Clark : A Life Brian Matthews , 2008 single work biography
Behind the Mask Stuart Macintyre , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 306 2008; (p. 15-17)

— Review of Manning Clark : A Life Brian Matthews , 2008 single work biography
Nervous, Vivid, Real Alan Atkinson , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , November vol. 3 no. 10 2008; (p. 3-4)

— Review of Manning Clark : A Life Brian Matthews , 2008 single work biography
The Private History Man Peter Cochrane , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 15 November 2008; (p. 21-22)

— Review of Manning Clark : A Life Brian Matthews , 2008 single work biography
The History Man Geoffrey Bolton , 2008 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 15-16 November 2008; (p. 10-11)

— Review of Manning Clark : A Life Brian Matthews , 2008 single work biography
The Secret History: Clark's Lovers and Self-Loathing Gia Metherell , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 15 November 2008; (p. 1-2)
Not Meeting the History Man Humphrey McQueen , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 15 November 2008; (p. 11, 13)
'Brian Matthews' biography of the late, great historian Manning Clark fails to connect.'
A Brief History of Inspiration Lyndall Ryan , 2008 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 22 November 2008; (p. B9)
Behind a Historian's Mask Jane Sullivan , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 28 August 2009; (p. 14)
The Gospel According to Brian Peter Craven , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Heat , no. 21 (New Series) 2009; (p. 75-94)
No one who knew Manning Clark, even a little, was likely to forget him. No one, even, who saw him lecture, with that broad-domed forehead and that infinitely gentle vicar's voice, full of the tears in things, and maybe too of the one who might (mightn't he?) wipe all tears away. There are two ways of seeing Manning Clark that echo down the half-empty corridors of Australian memory. One was voiced, a bit improbably, by my own mother, who knew nothing of the great historian that Sunday twenty-five years ago as we sat watching him interviewed on television and who said, 'That man is close to God.' The other is there bitten off or thrown away in the voices of a hundred antagonists: some of them like Peter Ryan, who wrote of him most vividly and most bitterly after publishing him for many years, or Robert Manne, who demolished the charge that he had been in thrall to the Soviets, were antagonists who had had to double as defenders. But what they thought, at the end of the day, was unmistakable, 'Manning Clark was a charlatan.'
Last amended 18 May 2010 12:32:01
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