The Colonial Earth

Overview

"It is conventional wisdom that Australia's colonists not only despised their environment but also were blind to their own destructiveness. The Colonial Earth challenges this stereotype. Tim Bonyhady reveals the extraordinary breadth and depth - as well as the limits - of environmental concern in Australia from the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788." "Taking art as his starting point, Bonyhady explores how issues such as the preservation of endangered species, the protection of forests, the maintenance of public rights over the foreshore and ...
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Overview

"It is conventional wisdom that Australia's colonists not only despised their environment but also were blind to their own destructiveness. The Colonial Earth challenges this stereotype. Tim Bonyhady reveals the extraordinary breadth and depth - as well as the limits - of environmental concern in Australia from the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788." "Taking art as his starting point, Bonyhady explores how issues such as the preservation of endangered species, the protection of forests, the maintenance of public rights over the foreshore and even the likelihood of climate change already loomed large in colonial Australia." "This is a story of activism and idealism, of intense appreciation of Australia's remarkable environment, and of sharp awareness of the limits to colonial growth. It is also a story of failure: of environmental ideals sacrificed to political expediency and commercial self-interest; of innovative and enlightened laws ignored and broken." Drawing on a remarkable array of sources, from paintings and poems to reports of public meetings and parliamentary debates, The Colonial Earth shows that far from being a product of the 1970s, an environmental aesthetic has always been part of the culture of European Australia.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a rare, enlightening and beautifully presented book. Seize it. There are only 2000 copies in this edition. It could vanish, like the heritage it celebrates, at any minute.” —The Australian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780522850536
  • Publisher: Melbourne University Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Pages: 446
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Tim Bonyhady is both an art historian and environmental lawyer. His previous books include Images in Opposition: Australian Landscape Painting 1801–1890 and Places Worth Keeping: Conservationists, Politics and Law. This is his eleventh book.

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