'At the age of 13 Sidney Kidman ran away from home with only five shillings in his pocket. He went on to become a horse dealer, drover, cattle buyer and bush jockey and he also ran a coach business. Above all, Kidman created a mighty cattle empire of more than a hundred stations, fighting droughts, bushfires, floods and plagues of vermin to do so. His enterprise and courage won him a huge fortune and made him a legend. ' (Publication summary)London : Angus and Robertson , 1978
'Bush Studies is famous for its stark realism—for not romanticising bush life, instead showing all its bleakness and harshness.
'Economic of style, influenced by the great nineteenth-century Russian novelists, Barbara Baynton’s short-story collection presents the Australian bush as dangerous and isolating for the women who inhabit it.' (Publication summary : Text Classics)Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1980
'Amid the brothels, grog shops and run-down boarding houses of inner-city Surry Hills, money is scarce and life is not easy. Crammed together within the thin walls of Twelve-and-a-Half Plymouth Street are the Darcy family: Mumma, loving and softhearted; Hughie, her drunken husband; pipe-smoking Grandma; Roie, suffering torments over her bitter-sweet first love; while her younger sister Dolour learns about life the hard way.' (Book description from publisher's website.)Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1980
'First published in 1949 as the sequel to the award-winning "The Harp in the South", this novel continues the story of the Darcy family of Sydney. The author also wrote "Swords and Crowns and Rings", which won the Miles Franklin Award.' (Publication summary)Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1980
'The year 1788: the very beginning of European settlement. These were times of hardship, cruelty and danger. Above all, they were times of conflict between the Aborigines and the white settlers.
'Eleanor Dark brings alive those bitter years with moments of tenderness and conciliation amid the brutality and hostility. The cast of characters includes figures historical and fictional, black and white, convict and settler. All the while, beneath the veneer of British civilisation, lies the baffling presence of Australia, the 'timeless land'.
'The Storm of Time and No Barrier complete the Timeless Land trilogy. ' (Publication summary)Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1980
'Sydney Cove, 1799, and three years since Governor Phillip departed. Against a background of continuing convict settlement, hunger, rebellion and the terrifying force of a barely understood land, the saga of Ellen Prentice and the Mannion family continues. Stephen Mannion marries the lovely Conor Moore and brings her back for Ellen to serve. Johnny Prentice goes bush - and re-emerges for one last confrontation with his old master. ' (Publication summary)Sydney London : Angus and Robertson , 1980
'One hundred years after the charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba in October 1917...The Desert Column is based on the diaries that he kept through out the war. Published in 1932, it is one of Idriess' earliest works. Harry Chauvel noted in the foreword that it was the only book of the campaign that to his knowledge was "viewed entirely from the private soldier's point of view"...Idriess served as a sniper with the 5th Australian Light Horse. Enlisting in 1914, he began his diary "as we crowded the decks off Gallipoli" and he continued writing until returning to Australia...The diaries cover his experience of some of the war's major events from life in the trenches at Gallipoli to the battles at Romani and Beersheba. One of Idriess' strengths as a writer is his ability to place the reader at the scene of the action...The diaries reveal a keenness of observation and a descriptive and pacey style that Idriess would develop further in The Desert Column.' (Synopsis)London : Angus and Robertson , 1982
Dick Marston narrates the events of his and his brother Jim's association with notorious bushranger Captain Starlight.London Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1982
Kangaroo, set in Australia, is D. H. Lawrence's eighth novel. He wrote the first draft in just forty-five days while living south of Sydney, in 1922, and revised it three months later in New Mexico. The descriptions of the country are among the most vivid and sympathetic ever penned, and the book fuses lightly disguised autobiography with an exploration of political ideas at an immensely personal level. His anxiety about the future of democracy, caught as it was in the turbulent cross currents of fascism and socialism, is only partly appeased by his vision of a new bond of comradeship between men based on their unique separateness. Lawrence's alter ego Richard Somers departs for America to continue his search.London : Angus and Robertson , 1982
'Once prosperous, the town of Tourmaline in outback Western Australia is dying. The mines are drying up and the land is riddled by drought. Those townspeople left have little to do but wile away the hours with drink.
'Salvation of sorts arrives in the form of Michael Random, a mysterious water diviner who emerges from the desert. As the town's reluctant messiah Random begins to spread the word of Christ. Desperate for a reprieve, many of the locals are drawn to his teachings, but a stubborn few remain sceptical of their new leader.
'A post-apocalyptic parable, Tourmaline is Randolph Stow's most allusive and controversial novel. It remains a landmark in Australian literature more than half a century after its first publication.'
Source: Publisher's blurb (Text Classics).Australia : Angus and Robertson , 1983
Such is Life: Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins. Joseph Furphy's title gives an indication of the complexity of the narrative that will unravel before a persistent reader. In chapter one, the narrator, Tom Collins, joins a group of bullockies to camp for the night a few miles from Runnymede Station. Their conversations reveal many of the issues that arise throughout the rest of the novel: the ownership of, or control of access to, pasture; ideas of providence, fate and superstition; and a concern for federation that flows into descriptions of the coming Australian in later chapters. Each of the characters provides a portrait of bush types that Furphy uses to measure the qualities of squatters and others against popular ideas of the 'gentleman'. Furphy's choice of a narrative structure to create a 'loosely federated' series of yarns is itself a critique of popular narratives populated by stock characters who are driven by action that leads to predictable and uncomplicated conclusions. Tom Collins, the unreliable narrator, adds further complications by claiming to 'read men like signboards' while all the time being unknowingly contradicted by circumstances that become obvious to the reader.
In each subsequent chapter Tom Collins leads the reader through a series of experiences chosen from his diaries. In chapter two, Collins meets the boundary rider Rory O'Halloran and his daughter, Mary, a symbol of the coming Australian whose devotion to her father will have tragic consequences in chapter five. There are many links between chapters like this one that remain invisible to Collins, despite his attempts to understand the 'controlling alternatives' that affect our lives. In chapter three Tom loses his clothes crossing the Murray River and spends the night wandering naked until he is able to steal a pair of pants after diverting attention by setting fire to a haystack. In chapter four Collins helps an ailing Warrigal Alf by deceiving several boundary riders who have impounded Alf's bullocks. In chapter five, among other yarns of lost children, Thompson completes the tragic tale of Mary O'Halloran, connecting with the events of chapter two. Chapters six and seven take Tom Collins back to Runnymede Station where he attempts to avoid an unwelcome union with Maud Beaudesart. He also meets the disfigured boundary rider, Nosey Alf, whose life story Furphy has threaded throughout the narrative, signs not perceived by Tom Collins. When Collins returns to Runnymede at the end of the novel, Furphy ties up more loose narrative threads, but Tom Collins, the narrator, remains oblivious to the end.
In short, Such Is Life 'reflects the preoccupations of [the 1890s]: contemporary capitalism, ardent Australian nationalism, the difficulties of pioneering pastoralism, and speculation about a future Australian civilization. It was instantly seen as a major example of the "radical nationalism" of the time and praised for its realistic representation of life on the frontier in the 1880s. But it was forty years before many readers realized that the novel was also a subtle comment on fiction itself and that within it were hidden stories that revealed a world of "romance" within its "realist" representation of life. Such Is Life can be read as the first experimental novel in Australian literature and the first Australian literary expression of a twentieth-century sensibility of the provisionality of life and reality.' (Julian Croft, 'Joseph Furphy.' in Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 230.)North Ryde : Angus and Robertson HarperCollins , 1990
Dick Marston narrates the events of his and his brother Jim's association with notorious bushranger Captain Starlight.North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1990
'The story of the Mannion family continues after the Bligh rebellion. As the young Mannions grow to maturity, so too the settlement at Sydney Cove develops into a town of substance. And later, the longings of young Miles Mannion are echoed in the efforts of the settlers to spread to the west. The discovery of a route over the Blue Mountains west of Sydney means there will be no further barrier.' (Publication summary)Sydney : HarperCollins , 2005
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