Ada Cambridge's husband, the Reverend George Frederick Cross, hardly sounds an exciting figure. On the evidence of his wife's first memoir, Thirty Years in Australia, his chief occupations seem to have been driving energetically about his numerous Victorian parishes and slaughtering the local wildlife. On 28 July 1871, for example, he managed to bring down three teal with one shot ('no great feat' remarks Cambridge grudgingly, 'seeing that the little birds were so thick [in]their flight' (65)), while during the six years the family spent in another parish Cross succeeded in murdering four platypuses (154).' When, finally, he was transferred to Holy Trinity, Williamstown, where his opportunities for thinning out the native fauna were presumably more limited, he ran his church 'for what he considered to be the best people'; for the people, that is, who were 'surrounded by an aura of social and financial primacy' and who would appreciate his efforts to make 'an English oasis in the colonial desert' (Hetherington 105).
The full text of this essay is available to ALS subscribers
Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.