Cultural Identity in Nineteenth-Century Australian Literature Criticism: The Role Of Women Writers - Essay

Delys Bird (essay date October 1983)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Bird, Delys. “Towards an Aesthetics of Australian Women's Fiction: My Brilliant Career and The Getting of Wisdom.Australian Literary Studies 11, no. 2 (October 1983): 171-81.

[In the following essay, Bird presents My Brilliant Career and The Getting of Wisdom as two “incipiently subversive novels” that depict the struggles of women in a society that generally diminishes feminine social value.]

Following the resurgence of the women's rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s in the English speaking world, an explosion of both formal and informal speculation and assertion regarding the ‘difference’ of the feminine, and...

(The entire section is 5477 words.)

Michael Ackland (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Ackland, Michael. “Counterbalancing Doubts.” In That Shining Band: A Study of Australian Colonial Verse Tradition, pp. 93-113. St. Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1994.

[In the following excerpt, Ackland analyzes the poetry and prose of Catherine Martin, emphasizing the problematic position of female writers in colonial Australia.]

The problems faced by a woman who was attracted to the highest forms of poetic endeavour are exemplified by the case of Catherine Martin. In a writing career which spanned over fifty years, verse remained a constant preoccupation. Among her earliest works were original poems and translations, and her subsequent fictional...

(The entire section is 9839 words.)

Susan Lever (essay date 1998)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Lever, Susan. “The Social Tradition in Australian Women's Poetry.” Women's Writing 5, no. 2 (1998): 229-39.

[In the following excerpt, Lever stresses the public and social role of nineteenth-century poetry by Australian women, noting a general preoccupation with nation-building rather than introspection.]

In the epilogue to her Slip-shod Sibyls: Recognition, Rejection and the Woman Poet, Germaine Greer reproaches those women of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries who fell prey to the romantic demand to expose their female suffering in poetry.1 These women—from “L.E.L.” and Elizabeth Barrett Browning to Anna Wickham and Sylvia...

(The entire section is 2039 words.)

Sharyn Pearce (essay date 1998)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Pearce, Sharyn. “The Beginnings: Women and Journalism in the 1880s.” In Shameless Scribblers: Australian Women's Journalism 1880-1995, pp. 1-13. Rockhampton: Central Queensland University Press, 1998.

[In the following excerpt, Pearce describes the suppressed but significant role of female journalists in late nineteenth-century Australia.]

In Henry Handel Richardson's short story, “The Bathe”, a little Australian girl is about to enter the water:

stripped of her clothing, the child showed the lovely shape of a six-year-old. Just past the dimpled roundnesses of babyhood, the little body stood slim and straight, legs...

(The entire section is 5533 words.)