‘Another Fresh Australian Tale’: The American Publication of Catherine Martin’s The Silent Sea


That the novel readers of colonial Australia took an interest in American fiction was abundantly demonstrated in contemporary sources—from the many direct and indirect references to writers such as Bret Harte, Hawthorne and Fenimore Cooper in the works of Australian novelists, to the later highly successful visits of Mark Twain, reported by the same Australian newspapers which serialised his stories. The existence of a reciprocal American interest in Australian colonial fiction is less obvious, although the Library of Congress National Union Catalogue (pre-1956) lists American editions, during the 1880s and 1890s, of Kingsley's The Recollections of Geoffry Hamlyn (1886) and Simpson Newland's Paving the Way (1899) as well as the ten Rolf Boldrewood titles which were printed by Macmillan in both London and New York between 1890 and 1897. However, the NUC also indicates that, during a period roughly spanning the fifteen years either side of Federation (albeit some thirty years after Hawthorne's famous complaint to W.D. Ticknor in 1855 that American literature had been 'given over to a d d mob of scribbling women' [qtd. Mott 122]) at least fifty novels by Australian women writers were published in the United States.

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Published 1 October 1992 in Volume 15 No. 4. Subjects: Australian literature - Overseas publishing, Australian literature - Overseas responses, Critical reception, 19th Century Women Writers, Catherine Martin.

Cite as: Foxton, Rosemary. ‘‘Another Fresh Australian Tale’: The American Publication of Catherine Martin’s The Silent Sea.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 15, no. 4, 1992, doi: 10.20314/als.300ea2ea66.