- Bush Studies
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Religion and ethics. Romantic Comedy. Social contemporary. Any country.
New Zealand. United Kingdom. Director of Photography. Executive Producer.
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Production designer. Writer of Original Material. Find only titles matching ALL options selected. Screen Australia The Screen Guide.
The Screen Guide. Powered by Viewing Options Choose a viewing option below. The final straw came when her niece, who had been sent to help out, was made pregnant by Frater.
Parenting on Your Knees: Prayers and Practical Guidance for the Preschool Years
While some writers had begun to tell comic talse of life in the Bush, Baynton would not let that pass. She would tell the truth, and then when Australia refused to publish her work, she pushed on to London and was published there instead. Bush Studies reminded me a lot of the short stories by Guy de Maupassant which I had to study during my first term of university — which seems strange given how the setting contrasts so sharply. They are thousands upon thousands of miles away from the United Kingdom, often hundreds of miles away from a major settlement, but yet they are supposed to be following the laws and conventions of these places that have utterly forgotten about them.
While Baynton was writing at the very beginning of the twentieth century, there is still something of the wilderness about Australia.
The characters speak in deep dialect, almost to the point of being difficult to understand — I found myself mouthing the words to ease comprehension. Yet, for all the comic caricatures, there is something more alarming going on here.
No description is ever offered of the woman even if she is the central character, but whenever anyone sees her, they are surprised. She is not what was expected.
Nobody shows her kindness. Even the drunkard collapsed outside of the shanty is treated with greater care. And then the penny drops, and such is the talent of Baynton that the reader had to realise for themselves rather than being told.
This woman is not white and because of that, she is not welcome. It is interesting how often these female-centric stories set their main characters as women but then do not give them names. The outsider status of women within the Bush is emphasised even here in this collection which aims to capture their experience.
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Bush Studies is a haunting collection, describing a demographic who could did not have the freedom to go waltzing Matilda, or indeed to make many choices for themselves at all. This feels like a true neglected classic, a necessary and too easily forgotten part of the Australian national story — while the subject matter may not be uplifting, Baynton lends a voice to a generation of women who were all too easy to ignore.
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