Road to Botany Bay

Paul Carter, Author Alfred A. Knopf $22.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-394-57035-8
In this ""spatial'' and cultural history, the British-born Australian author, editor of a Melbourne magazine, seeks the origins of Australian civilization in the journals, letters home, unfinished maps and other narratives by its explorers, soldiers and emigrants, including tall tales and accounts of escapes by convicts who helped settle the vast territory. Carter devotes much attention to the motives of explorers' selection of geographical names, and reflects upon the role of boundaries and grids to distinguish town from bush and balance nearness with distancea horizontality that developed into Australia's ubiquitous suburbs. He evokes in philosophical and poetic terms the loneliness of the early travelers crossing endless forests, plains and deserts, and the welcome of a candle in the window, celebrated in Australian literature. Carter explains that, because of the language barrier between invaders and aborigines, he views the latter only through the eyes of the former. Illustrations not seen by PW. (March)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1988
Release date: 03/01/1988
Paperback - 412 pages - 978-0-226-09516-5
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