Time, Tide and History

Essays on the Writing of Eleanor Dark

Sydney University Press
Edited by Brigid Rooney, Fiona Morrison
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Time, Tide and History: Essays on the Writing of Eleanor Dark is the first book-length edited collection of scholarly essays to treat the full span of Eleanor Dark’s fiction, advancing a recent revival of critical and scholarly interest in Dark’s writing.

This volume not only establishes a new view of Dark’s fiction as a whole, but also reflects on the ways in which her fiction speaks to our present moment, in the context of a globally fraught, post-pandemic, Anthropocene era. Above all, the revisiting of Dark’s fiction is mandated by a desire to recognise the ways in which it anticipates vital debates in Australian literary and national culture today, about settler colonialism and its legacies, and with regard to the histories, condition and status of Australia’s First Nations people.

This volume interweaves varied topical themes, from formal debates about modernism, historical realism and melodrama, to questions about modernity’s time and space, about gender and cultural difference, and about the specifics of built and natural environments. Time, Tide and History intentionally loosens the conventions of literary scholarship by including other kinds of work alongside critical and scholarly readings: a written dialogue between two contemporary historians about Dark’s legacy, and a biographical piece on the life and role of Eleanor Dark’s husband, Eric Payten Dark.

Bringing together the interwar fiction’s feminist and modernist dimensions with the historical turn of The Timeless Land trilogy, the essays in Time, Tide and History collectively pursue ethical and political questions while teasing out the distinctive thematic, formal and aesthetic features of Dark’s fiction.

Contributor Bio

Brigid Rooney is affiliated with the University of Sydney where for several decades she researched and taught Australian literature and Australian studies. She has published widely on twentieth century and contemporary Australian writing and is the author of Literary Activists: Writer-Intellectuals and Australian Public Life (2009) and Suburban Space, the Novel and Australian Modernity (2018).

Fiona Morrison is an Associate Professor in the School of the Arts and Media at UNSW Sydney, where she has taught and supervised in the areas of postcolonial and world literatures, Australian literature and women’s writing. Her most recent book, Christina Stead and the Matter of America (2019), won the Walter McRae Russell Award in 2021 (ASAL). She is currently working on a book-length study of Henry Handel Richardson.

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