Author(s): William Anderson Cawthorne
Written in the mid-1850s before any official or more orthodox history of the South Australian colony had appeared, The Kangaroo Islanders is one of the few colonial novels that represents in fleeting glimpses some of the improvisational and interactive encounters between the colonisers and the colonised on the edges of the island continent.
A remarkable and colourful book, this novel represents life on Kangaroo Island in the period between 1802-1836.
Rick Hosking has annotated the book extensively with absorbing historical information and fascinating details of personalities and events, making this new edition of The Kangaroo Islanders a delight for both fiction fans and history buffs. And art lovers too, for the book includes pages of many of W.A. Cawthorne's best watercolours, reproduced in colour. A book for omnivores, indeed!
William Anderson Cawthorne was an artist, author and schoolmaster. He recorded his observations of how Adelaide had been affected by the rush to Victoria for gold, in his diary from 1849-1859 held in the State Library of NSW Manuscripts Collection. The Kangaroo Islanders was originally published in serialised format, from 25 January to 25 December 1865.
Rick Hosking taught English, Australian Studies and Creative Writing at the Sturt College of Advanced Education and then at Flinders University. He is particularly interested in South Australian (literary) history and representations of contact and conflict between Indigenous people and European settlers in the colonial period. He is co-author (with Rob Foster and Amanda Nettelbeck) of the prize-winning Fatal Collisions: The South Australian Frontier and the Violence of Memory (Wakefield Press, 2001).