Eliza Fraser was an English woman shipwrecked on the Australian coast in 1836, where she lived with an Aboriginal community until her rescue. The story of a 'civilised' white female being taken captive by 'savage' black men was both fascinating and repulsive. Images and narratives surrounding this notorious episode have proliferated from the 1830s to the present. Kay Schaffer looks at the various literary and artistic manifestations of Eliza Fraser as a fictional presence in Australian culture. Schaffer looks at the contemporary narratives, and at more recent representations of Mrs Fraser in film, in the art of Sidney Nolan, and the writing of Patrick White. The book uses these texts to examine historical discourses of colonialism, race, gender, and nation. This accessible and stimulating book promises to make an impressive contribution to women's studies, cultural studies, and Australian history.
'... an influential contribution to current thinking on the part of Woman and women in meeting points of the ideological, the psychological and the political'. Australian Feminist Studies ' ... the very model of post-modernist writing ... Indeed, it could be set as a textbook for students to explore post-modernism.' Aboriginal History