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Remaking an ‘Old Tradition's Magic’: The Irish Strain in Early Queensland Writing

  • Belinda McKay (a1) and Patrick Buckridge (a2)

Extract

The themes of cultural dislocation and the struggle to feel ‘at home’ in a new land figure prominently in Australian literature, and considerable critical attention has been devoted to the distinctive articulations of these preoccupations by well-known writers of Irish birth or descent, such as Victor Daley, Bernard O'Dowd and John O'Brien. Queensland's Irish writers, however, have been largely forgotten or overlooked — both individually and as a group.

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Endnotes

1 Hornibrook, J. H., Bibliography of Queensland verse with biographical notes (Brisbane: Government Printer, 1953).

2 O'Doherty, Eva, ‘My voice of song’, Poems by ‘Eva’ of the ‘Nation’ (Dublin: M.H. Gill, 1909), pp. 20–1.

3 Kellow, H. A., Queensland poets (London: Harrap, 1930), pp. 107–8; Mrs Connolly, Hope, Thomasine's poems: wild flowers from the wayside (Dublin: James Duffy and Sons, [1883]).

4 Mrs Hope Connolly, ‘A remonstrance: To “Eva”‘, in Thomasine's poems, pp. 21–3.

5 Mrs Hope Connolly, ‘Mater dolorosa’, in Thomasine's poems, p. 111.

6 Mrs Hope Connolly, ‘The contrast: II’, in Thomasine's poems, p. 120.

7 Including ‘The boomerang,’ ‘“L. L.”’ (on Ludwig Leichhardt) and ‘Storm in the bush’.

8 Eva O'Doherty, ‘Queensland’, in Poems, p. 92.

9 Eva O'Doherty, ‘Queensland’, in Poems, pp. 92–3.

10 Ross and Heather Patrick, Exiles undaunted: the Irish rebels Kevin and Eva O'Doherty (St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, 1989), p. 174. See also Buckridge, Patrick, ‘Two Irish poets in colonial Brisbane: Eva O'Doherty and Cornelius Moynihan’, in Wooding, Jonathan (ed.), Old myths and new lights (Brisbane: Queensland Irish Association, 1991), p. 22.

11 Mulry, Mary Egan, ‘My dream’, in Glorious Australia: the land of my adoption (Brisbane: Crofton Print., [ca 1926]), n.p.

12 Mayne, Robert West, The two visions, or, the contrast: an Australian story (Sydney: F. Cunninghame & Co., 1874), p. [i].

13 Mayne, The two visions, pp. 37–8, 38 n.

14 Mayne, The two visions, p. [i].

15 Mayne, The two visions, Epilogue, p. 60.

16 The Bunyip of Wendouree and other poems by Cornelius Moynihan, Brisbane, 1910, draft copy in Fryer Memorial Library, University of Queensland.

17 Moynihan, Cornelius, The feast of the bunya: an Aboriginal ballad (Brisbane: Gordon and Gotch, 1910), pp. 54–5.

18 See Ingamells, Rex, ‘Conditional culture’ [1938], in Barnes, John (ed.), The writer in Australia: a collection of literary documents, 1856–1964 (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1969), pp. 245–59.

19 ‘Another presentation book’, The Brisbane Courier, 14 June 1901, 6. See also cutting, n.d., from Brisbane Telegraph in The Bunyip of Wendouree, Fryer Library.

20 A manuscript copy of the poem exists in the Queensland Parliamentary Library, together with the correspondence between Moynihan and Ward Lock & Co.

21 ‘The Goth’ [Henry Barkley], ‘Learning’ in Lyrics from the line (Ipswich: Railway Times Office, 1898), p. 31.

22 Henry Barkley, ‘Retrospect of the year 1893’, in Lyrics, p. 24.

23 Henry Barkley, ‘Address to her Majesty, the Queen’, in Lyrics, p. 55.

24 Henry Barkley, ‘The Wreck’, in Lyrics, p. 35.

25 The four volumes by Thomas Watters Boyce are Evening reveries (Brisbane Exchange Printing Co., 1928); The reply (Brisbane Exchange Printing Co., 1928); Whispering echoes (Brisbane Exchange Printing Co., 1928); and The battle of life and other verse (London: Stockwell, 1930).

26 Sweeney, James, ‘Get out in the bush’, in Original verse (Brisbane: Read Press, 1935), n.p.

27 Patterson, Sarah A., ‘My country’, in A garland of thought (Melbourne: George Robertson and Co., 1906), p. 101. For work in a similar vein, see Cope, Margaret A., ‘Newcastle, County Down’, in Meditation in verse (Brisbane: Carter-Watson, 1929), pp. 103–4.

28 See Clarke, Patricia, ‘Rosa Praed's Irish connections’, Australian Journal of Irish Studies 1 (2001), 118–25; Clarke, Patricia, Rosa Rosa! A life of Rosa Praed, spiritualist and novelist (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1999); and Ferres, Kay, ‘Shrouded histories: Rosa Praed and liberal politics’, Australian Literary Studies 21, 1 (2003), 3242. O'Doherty and Praed almost certainly met, perhaps even in Brisbane where Kevin O'Doherty and Thomas Lodge Murray-Prior were both Members of Parliament, or in London, where Rosa Praed assiduously frequented the debates on Home Rule (see Ferres, ‘Shrouded histories’).

29 Praed, Rosa (Mrs Campbell Praed), Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land (London: Pandora, 1987 [1915]), p. 47.

30 Praed, Rosa (Mrs Campbell Praed), Outlaw and lawmaker (London: Pandora, 1987 [1893]).

31 Praed, Outlaw and lawmaker, p. 278.

32 Praed, Outlaw and lawmaker, p. 306.

33 Sheridan, Susan, Along the faultlines: sex, race and nation in Australian women's writing, 1880s–1930s (Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1995), p. 54.

34 Clarke, ‘Rosa Praed's Irish connections’, 123. Praed had met and been charmed by Boyle in Boston in 1886.

35 Hemmings, Ernestine [later Hill], Peter Pan land and other poems (Brisbane: Hibernian Newspapers, 1916), pp. 1516. In Sydney, Hemming had a relationship with Robert Clyde Packer, then manager of Smith's Weekly; her son, Robert, born in 1924, is thought to be his child. At this time, Hemmings assumed the surname Hill, but she never married.

36 Meaghan Morris, ‘The fairies of the day: Ernestine Hill's education in Brisbane’, unpublished paper presented at the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Griffith University, 21 May 1999. In this paper, Morris also discussed the ‘knowingness’ of Hemmings's early poems.

37 J. J. Stable, foreword to Curran, Margaret, The wind blows high and low and other verses (Brisbane: Carter-Watson, [1928]), p. [7]. On Curran and Crist, and specifically their leading roles in the Toowoomba Ladies’ Literary Society, see Lee, Christopher, ‘A society of country women and the functions of literary property’, Journal of Australian Studies 52 (1997), pp. 138–47.

38 Curran, The Wind, pp. 25, 30.

39 Dornan, Dimity, Alice with eyes a-shine: seedlings of an Irish-Australian childhood (Brisbane: Church Archivists’ Press, 1998), p. 142. Crist began writing for the Catholic Advocate on 10 June 1927, and produced 95 poems, short stories and serial instalments selected in the first six months.

40 Crist, Alice Guerin, When Rody came to Ironbark and other verses (Sydney: Cornstalk 1927). The work of John O'Brien is advertised on the back cover of When Rody came to Ironbark.

41 Dornan, Alice, p. 155.

42 Alice Guerin Crist, ‘Himself’, in When Rody, p. 21.

43 Alice Guerin Crist, ‘O'Shea’, in When Rody, pp. 47-49.

44 Alice Guerin Crist, ‘Homesick’, in When Rody, p. 63.

45 Alice Guerin Crist, ‘When Rody came to Ironbark’, in When Rody, pp. 35–7.

46 Crist, Alice Guerin, Eucharist lilies (Sydney: Pellegrini, [1928]).

47 Crist, Alice Guerin, ‘Go it! Brothers’ (Sydney: Pellegrini, 1932).

48 Forrest, Mabel, White witches (London: Hutchinson, [1929]), pp. 247–8.

49 Forrest, Mabel, Gaming gods: a novel (London: Hutchinson, [1926]).

50 Forrest, Mabel, The wild moth (London: Cassell, 1927 [1924]).

51 Forrest, Mabel, ‘The little black man’, in The green harper (Brisbane: Gordon and Gotch, 1915), p. 20.

Remaking an ‘Old Tradition's Magic’: The Irish Strain in Early Queensland Writing

  • Belinda McKay (a1) and Patrick Buckridge (a2)

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