In the Wake of First Contact: The Eliza Fraser Stories

TitleIn the Wake of First Contact: The Eliza Fraser Stories
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsSchaffer, Kay
Number of Pages320
PublisherCambridge University Press
CityCambridge; New York

In The Wake of First Contact explores one of the best known events in Australian colonial history. In 1836 the Stirling Castle was wrecked off the Queensland coast and many of the crew together with the Captain's wife, Eliza Fraser, were marooned on Fraser Island. Stories and images about the events were published immediately and were soon in wide circulation. They reflected the cultural attitudes of the time, casting Mrs Fraser as a 'civilised' white woman taken captive by 'savage' blacks. In the 160 years since the event, the story of Eliza Fraser has become the subject of popular myth, fiction, poetry, opera, art, film and scholarly research. In this exciting and original book, Kay Schaffer looks at the historical, ethnographic, literary, artistic and popular manifestations of Eliza Fraser as a fictional presence in Australian culture from the 1830s to recent times. The book investigates representations of masculinity and femininity, self and other. It examines the organisation of racial, class, gendered and national identities evident in the various retellings of the Eliza Fraser story, and interprets them critically. Drawing on recent post-colonial, feminist, and post-structuralist theories, as well as the ethnographic data, it discusses the role of these stories and images in regulating power relations of empire, colony and nation.


Short TitleIn the Wake of First Contact
Entry by GWC Assistants / Work by GWC Assistants : 

Type of Literature:


Library Location: 
Call Number: