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Bush Studies by Barbara Baynton
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Bush Studies

by Barbara Baynton

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First published in 1902, Bush Studies is a collection of short stories set in the Australian outback of her day. While the stories certainly convey the harsh conditions, I felt that Baynton made scathing commentary on the harsh, crude and vulgar behaviour particularly of the men, and particularly toward women.

I found Scrammy ‘And and The Chosen Vessel to be especially compelling, and if I taught high-school literature would want to include them in my curriculum, regardless of where I was teaching.

Having met only the “jolly swagman’ of Waltzing Matilda, I had my eyes opened wide.

Read this if: (obviously) you want to find out about life in the outback at the end of the 19th century; or you are interested in the history of women’s role in Australian or global society. 4½ stars ( )
1 vote ParadisePorch | Jan 17, 2013 |
An accurate portrayal and description of some of the less loveable aspects of the Australian character and its prejudices. Though not as easily discerned in city life, the same character still exists today, and in many country areas is unchanged.
1 vote dandipratt | Jan 27, 2012 |
This book was provided for review by Sydney University Press, and I read it for the Classics Challenge. Published in 1902, it presents a feminist perspective about 19th century Australian bush life and although aspects of it are a bit quaint, it's interesting to read. To see my review, see http://anzlitlovers.wordpress.com/2009/09/28/bush-studies-by-barbara-baynton/
Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers ( )
  anzlitlovers | May 2, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0207177945, Paperback)

The most pronounced feature of Jyne's face was her mouth, and it seemed proud of its teeth, especially of the top row. Without any apparent effort, the last tooth there was always visible. She was a great power in the bush, being styled by the folk themselves "Rabbit Ketcher", which, translated, means midwife. And the airs Jyne gave herself were justifiable, for she was the only "Rabbit Ketcher" this side of the township. To bring a qualified midwife from civilization would have represented a crippling expenditure to these cockies. Jyne's moderate fees were usually four-legged.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:44 -0400)

Written during the 1890s, this collection of short stories presents a bleak and uncompromising image of life in the Australian bush. These are not stories of mates gathered around a fire, but of the dark loneliness of women. Not only are there fences to be built and a living to be coaxed from the land, but babies to be born - or buried - and the dangers of profound isolation to be endured, as well as the cruelties, or plain disappointments, of men.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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