AustLit logo
... Australian Classics (Angus & Robertson)
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Includes

y separately published work icon Bush Songs, Ballads, and Other Verse Nancy Keesing (editor), Douglas Stewart (editor), Penrith : Discovery Press , 1968 Z27270 1968 anthology poetry Penrith : Discovery Press , 1968
y separately published work icon While the Billy Boils : 87 Stories from the Prose Works of Henry Lawson Henry Lawson , Hawthorn : Lloyd O'Neil , 1970 Z1215630 1970 selected work short story Includes stories from Lawson's main collections - While the Billy Boils, On the Track and Over the Sliprails. Hawthorn : Lloyd O'Neil , 1970
y separately published work icon Capricornia : A Novel Xavier Herbert , Sydney : Publicist Publishing Company , 1938 Z352152 1938 single work novel (taught in 7 units) Arriving in Capricornia (a fictional name for the Northern Territory) in 1904 with his brother Oscar, Mark Shillingworth soon becomes part of the flotsam and jetsam of Port Zodiac (Darwin) society. Dismissed from the public service for drunkenness, Mark forms a brief relationship with an Aboriginal woman and fathers a son, whom he deserts and who acquires the name of Naw-Nim (no-name). After killing a Chinese shopkeeper, Norman disappears from view until the second half of the novel.

Oscar, the respectable contrast to Mark, marries and tries to establish himself on a Capricornian cattle station, Red Ochre, but is deserted by his wife and eventually returns for a time to Batman (Melbourne), accompanied by his daughter Marigold and foster son Norman, who has been sent to him after Mark's desertion.

Oscar rejects the plea of a former employee, Peter Differ, to see to the welfare of his daughter Constance; Constance Differ is placed under the 'protection' of Humboldt Lace, a Protector of Aborigines, who seduces her and then marries her off to another man of part-Aboriginal descent. Forced into prostitution, Constance is dying of consumption when discovered by a railway fitter, Tim O'Cannon, who will take care of Constance's daughter, Tocky, until his own death in a train accident.
Hearing news in 1928 of an economic boom in Capricornia, Oscar returns to his station, where he is joined by Marigold and Norman, who has grown to manhood believing himself to be the son of a Javanese princess and a solider killed in the First World War. Soon after, he discovers his mother was an Aboriginal woman, and meets his father, with whom he will not reconcile until later in the novel. Norman then goes on a series of journeys to discover his true, part-Aboriginal self. On the second of these journeys, he meets and wanders in the wilderness with Tocky, who has escaped from the mission station to which she was sent after the death of O'Cannon. During this passage, she kills a man in self-defense, which leads to Norman's being accused of murder, at the same time his father is prosecuted for the death of the Chinese shopkeeper. At the end of the novel they are both acquitted, Heather and Mark are married, and Norman returns to Red Ochre, where he finds the body of Tocky and their child in a water tank in which she had taken refuge from the authorities. (Source: Oxford Companion to Australian Literature)
Capricornia
Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1971
y separately published work icon Old Bush Songs and Rhymes of Colonial Times Douglas Stewart (editor), Nancy Keesing (editor), Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1957 Z389570 1957 anthology poetry Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1976
y separately published work icon Gold Fever Nancy Keesing (editor), Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1967 Z873606 1967 anthology prose autobiography 'This book is made up of eye-witness reports of happenings on the Australian goldfields during the colourful and adventurous pioneering period from 1851 to the 1890s' (Introduction). Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1976
y separately published work icon The Irishman : A Novel of Northern Australia Elizabeth O'Conner , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1960 Z221081 1960 single work novel London Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1977
y separately published work icon The Lucky Country Donald Horne , Ringwood : Penguin , 1964 Z1005731 1964 single work non-fiction (taught in 2 units) Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1978
y separately published work icon The Cattle King : The Story of Sir Sidney Kidman Ion L. Idriess , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1936 Z1095091 1936 single work biography

'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
y separately published work icon The Man Who Loved Children Christina Stead , New York (City) : Simon and Schuster , 1940 Z462160 1940 single work novel (taught in 19 units) 'Sam and Henny Pollit have too many children, too little money, and too much loathing for each other. As Sam uses the children's adoration to feed his own voracious ego, Henny watches in bleak despair, knowing the bitter reality that lies just below his mad visions. A chilling novel of family life, the relations between parents and children, husbands and wives.' (Source: Libraries Australia)
Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1979
y separately published work icon The Breaker : A Novel Kit Denton , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1973 Z818857 1973 single work novel historical fiction There was a Breaker Morant - he was executed at Pretoria on 27 February 1902. His crime? Wilful murder of civilians. Yet to this day his guilt remains in doubt. Kit Denton's novel, The Breaker, does more than recount the facts and mystery surrounding Morant's death sentence. Full of action and set in three continents, it covers the entire range of the Breaker's activities. We see him as a champion horseman, a likeable larrikin, a popular balladist. We see him in love and in war. Then we see him face the firing squad that will end his life. Was he a cold-blooded killer or a scapegoat? Based on a true story. Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1979
y separately published work icon Bush Studies Barbara Baynton , London : Duckworth , 1902 Z820571 1902 selected work short story (taught in 12 units)

'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
y separately published work icon The Harp in the South Ruth Park , 1947 Z1326724 1947 single work novel (taught in 2 units)
— Appears in: The Harp in the South Trilogy 1987;

— Appears in: Great Australian Writers : Miles Franklin, Henry Handel Richardson, Mrs Aeneas Gunn, Ruth Park 1987; (p. 513-698)

'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
y separately published work icon Poor Man's Orange Ruth Park , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1949 Z196404 1949 single work novel
— Appears in: The Harp in the South Trilogy 1987;

'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
y separately published work icon The Shiralee D'Arcy Niland , London Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1955 Z248011 1955 single work novel
— Appears in: Reader's Digest Condensed Books 1973;
'Probably no swagman, in life or in fiction, ever had such a strange companion on his wanderings as has Macauley, the central character in D'Arcy Niland's first novel, who tramps through the back towns of New South Wales accompanied by his daughter Buster. Buster, four-year-old bundle of loyalty and fortitude, combines these more adult qualities with a natural childishness...Buster is no joy to Macauley, and he treats her with an uncompromising firmness: she must go on walking when she is nearly exhausted, must stop chattering when he wants to be quiet, must not complain. But Macauley has, too, a certain grudging affection for her, and this affection develops until it is so threatened by circumstances that it must at last be openly admitted.' (Source: dustjacket, 1955 Angus and Robertson edition)
Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1980
y separately published work icon The Timeless Land Eleanor Dark , New York (City) : Macmillan , 1941 Z23820 1941 single work novel historical fiction (taught in 1 units)

'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
y separately published work icon Storm of Time Eleanor Dark , Sydney : Collins , 1948 Z824197 1948 single work novel historical fiction

'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
y separately published work icon Gallipoli Jack Bennett , London : Angus and Robertson , 1981 Z370439 1981 single work novel historical fiction London : Angus and Robertson , 1981
y separately published work icon The Man from Snowy River and Other Verses A. B. Paterson , Sydney London : Angus and Robertson Young J. Pentland , 1895 Z122819 1895 selected work poetry Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1981
y separately published work icon Power Without Glory : A Novel in Three Parts Frank Hardy , Melbourne : Realist Printing and Publishing Company , 1950 Z512009 1950 single work novel (taught in 5 units) Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1982
y separately published work icon The Desert Column : Leaves from the Diary of an Australian Trooper in Gallipoli, Sinai and Palestine The Desert Column Ion L. Idriess , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1932 Z107525 1932 single work autobiography diary correspondence war literature

'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
y separately published work icon Selected Stories Frank Moorhouse , Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1982 Z469661 1982 selected work short story Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1982
y separately published work icon Robbery Under Arms : A Story of Life and Adventure in the Bush and in the Goldfields of Australia Rolf Boldrewood , 1882-1883 Z1039336 1882 single work novel

Dick Marston narrates the events of his and his brother Jim's association with notorious bushranger Captain Starlight.

London Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1982
y separately published work icon Kangaroo D. H. Lawrence , New York (City) : Thomas Seltzer , 1923 Z120344 1923 single work novel (taught in 2 units)

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
y separately published work icon Tourmaline Randolph Stow , London : MacDonald , 1963 Z865108 1963 single work novel (taught in 5 units)

'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
y separately published work icon The Merry-Go-Round in the Sea Randolph Stow , London : MacDonald , 1965 Z320676 1965 single work novel (taught in 7 units) London Sydney : Angus and Robertson , 1984
y separately published work icon Henry Lawson's Humorous Stories Henry Lawson , Cecil Mann , North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1967 Z387803 1967 selected work short story humour North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1985
y separately published work icon Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins , 1897 8613167 1897 single work novel (taught in 2 units)

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
y separately published work icon Robbery Under Arms : A Story of Life and Adventure in the Bush and in the Goldfields of Australia Rolf Boldrewood , 1882-1883 Z1039336 1882 single work novel

Dick Marston narrates the events of his and his brother Jim's association with notorious bushranger Captain Starlight.

North Ryde : Angus and Robertson , 1990
y separately published work icon No Barrier Eleanor Dark , Sydney : Collins , 1953 Z824213 1953 single work novel historical fiction

'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
y separately published work icon Haxby's Circus : The Lightest, Brightest Little Show on Earth Katharine Susannah Prichard , London : Jonathan Cape , 1930 Z547210 1930 single work novel
— Appears in: Tsirk Kheksbi ; Negasimoe Plamia 1985;
Sydney : HarperCollins , 2013
Last amended 26 Jun 2006 17:52:20
Newspapers:
    Powered by Trove
    X