In the Wake of First Contact: The Eliza Fraser Stories

In the Wake of First Contact: The Eliza Fraser Stories

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Kay Schaffer
Cambridge University Press, 4/17/2009
EAN 9780521499200, ISBN10: 0521499208

Paperback, 340 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.9 cm
Language: English

Eliza Fraser was an English woman shipwrecked on the Australian coast in 1836, where she lived with an Aboriginal community until her rescue. The story of a 'civilised' white female being taken captive by 'savage' black men was both fascinating and repulsive. Images and narratives surrounding this notorious episode have proliferated from the 1830s to the present. Kay Schaffer looks at the various literary and artistic manifestations of Eliza Fraser as a fictional presence in Australian culture. Schaffer looks at the contemporary narratives, and at more recent representations of Mrs Fraser in film, in the art of Sidney Nolan, and the writing of Patrick White. The book uses these texts to examine historical discourses of colonialism, race, gender, and nation. This accessible and stimulating book promises to make an impressive contribution to women's studies, cultural studies, and Australian history.

List of illustrations
1. Her story/history
the many fates of Eliza Fraser
2. Eliza Fraser's story
texts and contexts
3. John Curtis and the politics of empire
The Shipwreck of the Stirling Castle
4. Policing the borders of civilisation
colonial man and his others
5. Cannibals
Western imaginings of the Aboriginal other
6. Modern reconstructions
Michael Alexander's history and Sidney Nolan's paintings
7. Patrick White's novel A Fringe of Leaves
8. A universal postcolonial myth?
representations beyond Australia - Gabriel Josipovici, Michael Ondaatje and Andre Brink
9. And now for the movie
popular accounts
10. Oppositional voices
contemporary politics and the Eliza Fraser story.