This book is an exploration of popular late nineteenth-century texts that show Australia - along with Africa, India and the Pacific Islands - to be a preferred site of imperial adventure. Focusing on the period from the advent of the new imperialism in the 1870s to the outbreak of World War I, Robert Dixon looks at a selection of British and Australian writers. Their books, he argues, offer insights into the construction of empire, masculinity, race, and Australian nationhood and identity. Writing the Colonial Adventure shows that the genre of adventure/romance was highly popular throughout this period. The book examines the variety of themes within their narrative form that captured many aspects of imperial ideology. In considering the broader ramifications of these works, Professor Dixon develops an original approach to popular fiction, both for its own sake and as a mode of cultural history.
"Dixon rises above a penchant for wordiness and jargon and provides a discussion of the literary importance of this conflict. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above." Choice ."..a sophisticated account of Anglo-Australian culture's adolescence..." Times Literary Supplement