Australian classics

    • 	Image: Frank Mahony Rounding up a straggler 1889 (detail)
    • With Susannah Fullerton

      Member, Lecture / symposium

'It was all Australia to me …’ – Rudyard Kipling

What makes a novel or story essentially ‘Australian’? Is it merely the setting, and should that setting be urban, or rural? Or is there something in the tone which makes a book typically Australian? Why do some novels and stories continue to resonate with succeeding generations of Australians? Which books have become Aussie classics, and why?

Literary lecturer and writer Susannah Fullerton discusses three works that have been popular and which have lasted. She looks at how Australia shaped their authors and how those authors shaped Australia, and analyses what it is that makes them good or great works of literature.

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Various Fridays and Saturdays 10.30am
5 October - 10 November 2018
See listing for dates

Single session:
$45 non-member
$35 member

Full series:
$120 non-member
$90 member

Bookings and enquiries: 02 9225 1878

Lectures and lecturers subject to change
No transfers between sessions

Three full working days (Mon–Fri) notice is required to qualify for a refund. All refunds attract an administration charge of 25% of the ticket price(s) with a minimum charge of $5. With subscription tickets there are no refunds for single sessions, unless a session is cancelled. Not negotiable.

Duration 2 hours
Location: Domain Theatre

Proudly sponsored by
Arab Bank Australia

Image: Frank Mahony Rounding up a straggler 1889 (detail)

    • Henry Lawson and 'The drover’s wife'

      Charges apply

      Friday 5 October 10:30am – 12:30pm


      Saturday 6 October 10:30am – 12:30pm


      Read the description

      Its fabulous depiction of the lonely wife of a drover, left alone with her four children in an outback hut, and her encounter with a snake, is surely one of the finest of all Australian short stories. From its first publication in 1892, it clearly touched something deep in the Australia psyche, for it has been turned into a ballet, a play, a TV film, photographs and paintings.

      Henry Lawson was a wonderful poet and prose writer, but a troubled man with a drink problem. This lecture will examine his turbulent life and examine how he came to write such iconic Australian stories and verse?

    • Ethel Turner and 'Seven little Australians'

      Charges apply

      Friday 12 October 10:30am – 12:30pm


      Saturday 13 October 10:30am – 12:30pm


      Read the description

      When this tale of children growing up in Parramatta came out in 1894, Mark Twain wrote to praise its young author. Other critics called her the ‘Australian Louisa May Alcott’ and the book was immediately popular. She went on to write sequels about the children and their adventures, as well as many other books, but none ever captured the public imagination as did her tale of the naughty Woolcot children. Today Seven little Australians is one of the few 19th century children’s novels still read by children today.

      This talk discusses the book’s depiction of Australian city life and its portrayal of a cattle station, as seen through the experiences of seven unruly little Aussies.

    • Miles Franklin and 'My brilliant career'

      Charges apply

      Friday 9 November 10:30am – 12:30pm


      Saturday 10 November 10:30am – 12:30pm


      Read the description

      This 1901 novel was sent to Henry Lawson by its author, Stella Maria Sarah Miles Franklin. He forwarded it to his own publishers in the UK and wrote a preface for it. He did not know that several characters had been based on the author’s own family. Indeed, the book’s publication embarrassed Miles Franklin so much she withdrew it from publication until after her death.

      Clearly the work of a teenage girl, it is an odd, contradictory book – strongly feminist, and with fabulous portrayals of the hard life of the bush, yet with one of the most irritating heroines ever! She fails to have any career at all, let alone a brilliant one. Miles Franklin gave her name and money to an award that now fosters uniquely Australian literature – this lecture looks at what places her own first novel so firmly in that category.