Journal article

The Australian Kangaroo Hunt Novel (1830–1858) as *Bildungsroman*

Ken Gelder, R Weaver

Australian Literary Studies | Australian Literary Studies | Published : 2019

Abstract

In Australia – and no doubt in other outposts of empire – hunting provided a rite of passage for ambitious young men to learn about local conditions and establish their colonial credentials. This article argues that the kangaroo hunt narrative therefore operated as a kind of colonial bildungsroman or novel of education. It examines three kangaroo hunt novels written by women who had in fact never travelled to Australia. The first is Sarah Porter’s Alfred Dudley; or, The Australian Settlers (1830). Porter’s novel shows that the kangaroo hunt is incompatible with the bourgeois sensibilities of an aspirant settler who revolts from ‘scenes of blood’. But other colonial bildungsromans invested in..

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