From the Frontier: Outback Letters to Baldwin Spencer

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"In the nineteenth century the centre of the continent was, to white Australians, a vast forbidding emptiness. The completion of the Overland Telegraph Line in the 1870s brought with it a new knowledge of the area, as well as a number of intruders to a landscape familiar to Aboriginal people for thirty thousand years. Among the newcomers were a policeman, Ernest Cowle, and a telegraph official, Paddy Byrne, living in frontier settlements hundreds of kilometres from the nearest Europeans." "From 1894 to 1925, Cowle and Byrne wrote letters to
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Overview

"In the nineteenth century the centre of the continent was, to white Australians, a vast forbidding emptiness. The completion of the Overland Telegraph Line in the 1870s brought with it a new knowledge of the area, as well as a number of intruders to a landscape familiar to Aboriginal people for thirty thousand years. Among the newcomers were a policeman, Ernest Cowle, and a telegraph official, Paddy Byrne, living in frontier settlements hundreds of kilometres from the nearest Europeans." "From 1894 to 1925, Cowle and Byrne wrote letters to pioneering anthropologist and biologist Baldwin Spencer, whom they had met during the 1894 Horn Scientific Expedition to central Australia. Neither expected their letters to be read by any person other than Spencer, and both made observations which they would never voice to each other. Yet through their letters, and the Spencer and Gillen books, they became linked to such giants of intellectual history as James Frazer, Emile Durkheim and Sigmund Freud. And both became figures on the frontier of discovery, looking at human experience in all its diversity." The subjects of their letters were the Aboriginal people, the landscape in which they lived and the unusual flora and fauna of their habitat. These earthy and thoughtful men offered an extended report from the frontier of the relations between white and black Australians, a place then characterised by mutual incomprehension, outbreaks of violence and the vast distance between two seemingly incompatible ways of responding to an extreme environment.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781865083179
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Pages: 338
  • Lexile: 1730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Preface
Introduction: Correspondents on a Frontier 1
Pt. I The Cowle Correspondence: Letters from Mounted Constable C. E. Cowle to Baldwin Spencer, 1894-1920 17
1 Cowle of Illamurta 19
2 Home at Illamurta 54
3 People and Environment 95
4 After Gillen 127
5 Bush Ethnography 151
Pt. II The Byrne Correspondence: Letters from P. M. Byrne to Baldwin Spencer, 1894-1925 177
6 Pado Byrne of Charlotte Waters 179
7 Correspondence 1894-95 198
8 The Mail 1896-1925 228
App. 1 C. E. Cowle Letters to Edward Stirling 259
App. 2 C. E. Cowle to R. H. Mathews 263
App. 3 Official Police Correspondence 266
App. 4 Cost of Escorting Prisoners 271
App. 5 Byrne's Kurdaitcha Article (1895) 274
App. 6 Surviving Letters from Baldwin Spencer to P. M. Byrne 278
Notes 286
Bibliography 328
Index 332
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