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Issue Details: First known date: 1894... 1894 On the Wallaby ; Or, Through the East and Across Australia
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Affiliation Notes

  • 19th-Century Australian Travel Writing

    Guy Newell Boothby (1867–1905), novelist and playwright, was son of a South Australian stock and station agent and politician and was educated in England. He became private secretary to the mayor of Adelaide, Sir Lewis Cohen, in 1890.  Boothby's work had appeared in the South Australian Register, and his first novel In Strange Company was published in 1894. On the Wallaby is an autobiographical account of his travels with his friend Longley Taylor. Intending to travel to England, the pair ran out of funds: landing in Colombo they wandered for some months, travelled through Singapore, Borneo and Java, stayed on Thursday Island, and then in Australia travelled overland by buggy from Normanton to the Darling River. Boothby took the manuscript to London and published the travel narrative there. In the preface to this work Boothby notes that 'on the wallaby' is slang for 'on the march,' and is a term applied to people tramping the bush in search of employment. This travel narrative through Australia and the East is extensively illustrated and is, according to Boothby, a "simple record of a strange wandering." Boothby does not encourage those who read his narrative to follow in his footsteps, instead he wished for them to enjoy his travels. The work is written in a descriptive, yet conversational manner, encompassing both factual information and personal anecdotes.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Longmans, Green ,
      1894 .
      image of person or book cover 5976827833500238605.png
      Link: 20321687Full text document Sighted: 05/10/2020
      Extent: xviii, 344p., [8] leaves of platesp.
      Description: illus.

      Holdings

      Held at: Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies AIATSIS Library
      Local Id: RB B725.73/O1

      Holdings

      Held at: Adelaide University Barr Smith Library
      Local Id: 919.4 B725

      Holdings

      Held at: La Trobe University Bundoora campus, Borchardt Library
      Local Id: 994.03 B7252on

      Holdings

      Held at: Deakin University
      Local Id: 919.40432 Boo/Tte

      Holdings

      Held at: Flinders University of South Australia
      Local Id: 919.4 B725

      Holdings

      Held at: Monash University Monash University Library
      Local Id: 919.4 B725.O

      Holdings

      Held at: National Library of Australia
      Local Id: N 910.4 BOO

      Holdings

      Held at: State Library of Victoria
      Local Id: LT 919.4 B644

      Holdings

      Held at: Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW
      Local Id: DSM/984/B

      Holdings

      Held at: State Library of Queensland State Library of QLD
      Local Id: NAT 919.4 boo

      Holdings

      Held at: State Library of South Australia State Library of SA
      Local Id: 994.3T B725

      Holdings

      Held at: University of Melbourne The University Library
      Local Id: TT BOOT

      Holdings

      Held at: University of New South Wales UNSW Library
      Local Id: V 919.404/10

      Holdings

      Held at: University of Sydney The University of Sydney Library
      Local Id: RB 1594.48

      Holdings

      Held at: University of Tasmania Morris Miller Library
      Local Id: DU 104 .B66 1894

      Holdings

      Held at: University of Western Australia Library
      Local Id: 919.40432 1894 ONT

Works about this Work

Guy Boothby and the “Yellow Peril” : Representations of Chinese Immigrants in British Imperial Spaces in the Late-Nineteenth Century Ailise Bulfin , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies , vol. 20 no. 1 2015; (p. 5-23)

'By the end of the nineteenth century the pernicious racial term “yellow peril” had entered the common parlance of Victorians across the British Empire. Ironically, this insidious imperial myth that China would overrun the West owed its genesis to the impact of European, and particularly British imperial activity, on China in the late-nineteenth century, rather than to any expansionary Chinese aims or activity. The western impact was bi-faceted, involving both the physical incursion of westerners into China, and the related movement of Chinese people overseas to work in western nations and colonies. Under the international coerced labour phenomenon known as the “coolie trade,” Chinese people were brought across the British Empire as far as the settler colonies of Australia and South Africa, and even to the plantations of the British West Indies. Despite the relative powerlessness of their position as indentured or indebted immigrants, they were inevitably perceived as hostile aliens who threatened "white" society. This essay examines the impact of Australian anti-Chinese sentiment on representations of Chinese people in the works of Guy Boothby, an Adelaide-born author who emigrated to London in 1893. It explores Boothby’s representations of Chinese people in the imperial spaces of Britain’s Australian and Southeast Asian colonies, and also in the informal imperial spaces of contact in “foreign” China, in the cities and coastal locations where the British Empire was making its presence and influence felt, in works including Boothby’s travelogue, On the Wallaby (1894), the Dr Nikola series of novels (1895-1901), “The Story of Lee Ping” (1895), The Beautiful White Devil (1896) and My Strangest Case (1901). It argues that these superficially disinterested but consistently derogatory representations of the far-flung Chinese contributed to the deplorable international myth of the yellow peril, but also could not help revealing the important and largely overlooked presence of the Chinese in the spaces of the British Empire, demonstrating the impact of the coolie trade on imperial society and signalling the multifaceted nature of the British Empire’s involvement with China.' (Publication summary)

At Home and Abroad N. O. L. (fl. 1895) , 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Literary World , 5 April vol. 51 no. 1327 1895; (p. 311-312)

— Review of On the Wallaby ; Or, Through the East and Across Australia Guy Boothby , 1894 single work prose
At Home and Abroad N. O. L. (fl. 1895) , 1895 single work review
— Appears in: The Literary World , 5 April vol. 51 no. 1327 1895; (p. 311-312)

— Review of On the Wallaby ; Or, Through the East and Across Australia Guy Boothby , 1894 single work prose
Guy Boothby and the “Yellow Peril” : Representations of Chinese Immigrants in British Imperial Spaces in the Late-Nineteenth Century Ailise Bulfin , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies , vol. 20 no. 1 2015; (p. 5-23)

'By the end of the nineteenth century the pernicious racial term “yellow peril” had entered the common parlance of Victorians across the British Empire. Ironically, this insidious imperial myth that China would overrun the West owed its genesis to the impact of European, and particularly British imperial activity, on China in the late-nineteenth century, rather than to any expansionary Chinese aims or activity. The western impact was bi-faceted, involving both the physical incursion of westerners into China, and the related movement of Chinese people overseas to work in western nations and colonies. Under the international coerced labour phenomenon known as the “coolie trade,” Chinese people were brought across the British Empire as far as the settler colonies of Australia and South Africa, and even to the plantations of the British West Indies. Despite the relative powerlessness of their position as indentured or indebted immigrants, they were inevitably perceived as hostile aliens who threatened "white" society. This essay examines the impact of Australian anti-Chinese sentiment on representations of Chinese people in the works of Guy Boothby, an Adelaide-born author who emigrated to London in 1893. It explores Boothby’s representations of Chinese people in the imperial spaces of Britain’s Australian and Southeast Asian colonies, and also in the informal imperial spaces of contact in “foreign” China, in the cities and coastal locations where the British Empire was making its presence and influence felt, in works including Boothby’s travelogue, On the Wallaby (1894), the Dr Nikola series of novels (1895-1901), “The Story of Lee Ping” (1895), The Beautiful White Devil (1896) and My Strangest Case (1901). It argues that these superficially disinterested but consistently derogatory representations of the far-flung Chinese contributed to the deplorable international myth of the yellow peril, but also could not help revealing the important and largely overlooked presence of the Chinese in the spaces of the British Empire, demonstrating the impact of the coolie trade on imperial society and signalling the multifaceted nature of the British Empire’s involvement with China.' (Publication summary)

Last amended 5 Oct 2020 18:56:48
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