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Dancing with strangers : the true history of…

Dancing with strangers : the true history of the meeting of the British… (edition 2005)

by Inga Clendinnen

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Title:Dancing with strangers : the true history of the meeting of the British First Fleet and the Aboriginal Australians, 1788
Authors:Inga Clendinnen
Info:Edinburgh : Canongate, 2005.
Collections:Your library

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Dancing With Strangers: Europeans and Australians at First Contact by Inga Clendinnen

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A thoughtful, imaginitive study of the earliest records. ( )
  Lit.Lover | Feb 17, 2013 |
A fascinating exploration of the thoughts and actions of the British who first colonized Australia, the thoughts and actions of people they found already living there, and the vast cultural divide between them. A wise and beautifully written book.

The only records of the encounter between the first group of British colonists and the Indigenous Australians are those written by British officers and professionals who accompanied the first colonists to settle at Sidney. With skills drawn from history and anthropology, Clendinnen explores the assumptions and cultural patterns which motivated both the British writers and the Australians, as she calls them. She does not question the accuracy of the British accounts of what happened; she does question the British assumptions that the Australian Indigenous people were irrational and inferior. She goes on to reconstruct unwritten cultural assumptions of both groups, assumptions that lay in the way of any long-term reconciliation between them. Such an approach is problematic, of course, as Clendinnen would agree, but she sees it as alternative to those who would understand the encounter only through the judgmental eyes of British. Her speculations push us to consider the first Australians as human beings, not the passive, pasteboard figures which they too often appear.

Read more...http://wp.me/p24OK2-nO
  mdbrady | Aug 25, 2012 |
What happened when British settlers landed in the country of a people they knew nothing about? What did those people think? What did they do? The story of Sydney's very first few years. Honest, probing, challenging. What history should be. ( )
  seabear | Oct 12, 2009 |
The story of the contact between indigenous Australians and the British in what became Sydney between 1788 and 1795. Clendinnen shows that the first Governor, Arthur Phillip and Bennelong wanted much the same thing - to try and get the other to adopt their ways. The diseases brought by the British destroyed many of the Australians in the first few years throwing their society into chaos. Clendinnen goes to great lengths to explain Phillip's attempts, and eventual failure, to understand the Australians' culture, and shows where the lack of British imagination and the huge gulf in linguistic understanding eventually led to tragedy. ( )
  joe1402 | Dec 30, 2008 |
read this while on a houseboat on the Hawkesbury RIver - home of the first Australians invaded by pale skinned people with strange ways ; waering clothes, building houses, growing wheat and keeping edible animals. ( )
  siri51 | Nov 3, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0521616816, Paperback)

In January 1788, the First Fleet arrived in New South Wales, Australia and a thousand British men and women encountered the people who would be their new neighbors. Dancing with Strangers tells the story of what happened between the first British settlers of Australia and these Aborigines. Inga Clendinnen interprets the earliest written sources, and the reports, letters and journals of the first British settlers in Australia. She reconstructs the difficult path to friendship and conciliation pursued by Arthur Phillip and the local leader 'Bennelong' (Baneelon) that was ultimately destroyed by the assertion of profound cultural differences. A Prize-winning archaeologist, anthropologist and historian of ancient Mexican cultures, Inga Clendinnen has spent most of her teaching career at La Trobe University in Bundoora, Australia. Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan (Cambridge, 1989) and Aztecs: An Interpretation (Cambridge, 1995) are two of her best-known scholarly works; Tiger's Eye: A Memoir, (Scribner, 2001) describes her battle against liver cancer. Reading the Holocaust (Cambridge, 2002) explores World War II genocide from various perspectives.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:03 -0400)

What happened between British settlers of NSW and the Australian inhabitants they found there.

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