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'Adventures in Australia' (1851) by Mrs R. Lee: reading for girls at home and abroad

'Adventures in Australia' (1851) by Mrs R. Lee: reading for girls at home and abroad
'Adventures in Australia' (1851) by Mrs R. Lee: reading for girls at home and abroad
Critics of colonial fiction for juveniles have too frequently addressed gender through genre: adventure stories in foreign lands are for boys; moral tales at home are for girls. While Mrs Lee's Adventures in Australia appears to replicate such binaries and the imperial agendas they serve, re-examination of its sparse “girlie” scenes—exemplified by “Mrs Onslow's garden” in the final chapter—complicates normative views of its intended adventure story readerships. By paying particular attention to the novel's own prefatory definitions and priorities as an adventure fiction, and Lee's historical and authorial contexts, this article explores the many ways in which Adventures in Australia addresses the thinking girl. As a “pioneer” novel of the Antipodes by an English woman who never set foot there, it then also turns upside down modern critical definitions and expectations in Australian and Victorian studies about the early “Australian” novel, and juvenile adventure fiction.
0969-9082
148-165
Orr, Mary
3eec40eb-479c-4c9a-b2da-7388a27f9d5c
Orr, Mary
3eec40eb-479c-4c9a-b2da-7388a27f9d5c

Orr, Mary (2014) 'Adventures in Australia' (1851) by Mrs R. Lee: reading for girls at home and abroad. [in special issue: Girls' Culture in Colonial Australia and New Zealand] Women's Writing, 21 (2), 148-165. (doi:10.1080/09699082.2014.906703).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Critics of colonial fiction for juveniles have too frequently addressed gender through genre: adventure stories in foreign lands are for boys; moral tales at home are for girls. While Mrs Lee's Adventures in Australia appears to replicate such binaries and the imperial agendas they serve, re-examination of its sparse “girlie” scenes—exemplified by “Mrs Onslow's garden” in the final chapter—complicates normative views of its intended adventure story readerships. By paying particular attention to the novel's own prefatory definitions and priorities as an adventure fiction, and Lee's historical and authorial contexts, this article explores the many ways in which Adventures in Australia addresses the thinking girl. As a “pioneer” novel of the Antipodes by an English woman who never set foot there, it then also turns upside down modern critical definitions and expectations in Australian and Victorian studies about the early “Australian” novel, and juvenile adventure fiction.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 6 June 2014
Published date: 6 June 2014
Organisations: Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 365680
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/365680
ISSN: 0969-9082
PURE UUID: 337c7847-14e8-4a4e-9933-93ffeb53c4a0

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Date deposited: 16 Jun 2014 09:39
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:03

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