Rolf Boldrewood and the mythologization of Australia

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McLaren, John (1988) Rolf Boldrewood and the mythologization of Australia. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)


Contains a review of Rolf Boldrewood’s novel and best-seller Robbery Under Arms. This book contains the standard bush properties of branding, mustering and droving cattle, horsemanship and bushcraft. It also has the romantic properties of the man with the past, adventurous conflict and bush courtship. Easily dismissed as romance, and of little relevance to the mainstream of Australian fiction this book, however, seen in relation to his own times, and to the experience of the people of whom Boldrewood writes can be seen as part of a necessary distortion of the Australian consciousness. This distortion suppressed the realities of one-sided racial conflict by which the land had in fact been won, and replaced them by a more congenial myth of the noble squatter bringing civilized affluence to a virgin land.

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Date is approximate.

Item type Other
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Current > Collections > McLaren Papers
Keywords Australian literature, colonial novels, bushranging, romanticism, rural mythology, MCLAREN-BOXD7-DOC2
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