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Europeans in Australia, The: A History: The Beginning (Volume 1)

Alan Atkinson
Oxford University Press,
1998
ISBN: 0195507088
Pages:
Format: Softcover
Quantity in stock: 1

Condition: FINE

Price: $30.00 (inc GST)

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In the first volume of his history of Australia, Alan Atkinson covers the first impact of European power on Australia. He argues that the Europeans were not simply conquerors, that their own cultures were infinitely complex, thickly-woven with ideas about spirituality, authority, self and land, all of which influenced the development of Australia.

Among the ancient stories told by people of the Australian north coast is one of the Shark that left its ocean home to make its mark on the shore. The ocean-borne power of the first Europeans in Australia, in and after 1788, had some of the savage mystery of the Ancestral Shark. In this major new multi-volume history of Australia, the award-winning historian Alan Atkinson explores the imagery and technique of European power as it made its first impact on Australia. He urges that the Europeans were not simply conquerors motivated by brutal or short term colonizing imperatives. Their own culture was ancient and infinitely complex, thickly woven with ideas about spirituality, authority, self and land, all of which influenced the development of Australia. Among the European's art and weapons none was more remarkable than writing: pens, paper, printing presses and books. The Shark which came ashore in 1788 enforced its will mainly through the written word. And yet poorer Europeans, like the Aborigines, were still a people largely unfamiliar with literacy in their daily lives. Theirs was an oral world - a world of speaking and listening. The possession of land, the conflict with the Aborignes, were at issue, but so were the ancient habits of Europeans themselves. This first volume tells how homes were made and souls reshaped during the first 25 years of the Europeans in Australia. pp. 448 illusts #0119

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