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No Privacy for Writing: Shipboard Diaries, 1852-1879

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Eight diaries, written on the long sea journey from the Old World to the New, are reproduced here for the first time. They cover the years 1852 to 1879, the peak years of mass migration by sail to Australia. There are eight distinct voices collected here, and eight different stories told. The diversity is salutary, and it would be misleading to suggest any are typical of the migrant experience. But they have all been written despite a lack of privacy, a want of time and inadequate facilities. No Privacy for ...
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Overview

Eight diaries, written on the long sea journey from the Old World to the New, are reproduced here for the first time. They cover the years 1852 to 1879, the peak years of mass migration by sail to Australia. There are eight distinct voices collected here, and eight different stories told. The diversity is salutary, and it would be misleading to suggest any are typical of the migrant experience. But they have all been written despite a lack of privacy, a want of time and inadequate facilities. No Privacy for Writing demonstrates both the harsh conditions under which working people emigrated and the effort that diaries by working people represented. The diaries of working people have something to say that is not said by middle-class diarists. Emigration is seen from a different perspective and writing played a different role in the lives of working-class diarists. Being less practised in literary language than the middle class, working people used a more conversational tone as though speaking to those who remained at home. The phonetic spellings, reproduced true to the original text, reveal a rich variety of regional accents all of which can be 'heard' on reading. The four men and four women are from different regions and occupations, yet each unique and individual voice speaks clearly to us across time of the hardships, fears and loneliness endured with moving courage by these nineteenth-century working people.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780522844689
  • Publisher: Melbourne University Publishing
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Pages: 304

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