Burke and Wills and the Colonial Hero: Three Poems


Sellick discusses three poems that respond to the ill-fated Burke & Wills expedition of 1860: Henry Kendall's The Fate of the Explorers, Burke and Wills, 'Australian Explorers' by R.H. Horne, and Adam Lindsay Gordon's 'Gone'. Sellick argues that colonial poets harnessed explorers's journeys as a replacement source for ideas of heroism, sacrifice and loyalty so important to Victorian poetry. In addressing the poems, Sellick traces a progression 'both in the treatment of the historical narrative and in the presentation of Burke as a hero'.

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Published 1 October 1971 in Volume 5 No. 2. Subjects: Exploration & explorers of Australia (Land), Heroes, Henry Kendall, Adam Lindsay Gordon.

Cite as: Sellick, Robert. ‘Burke and Wills and the Colonial Hero: Three Poems.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 5, no. 2, 1971, doi: 10.20314/als.8ae0df2d24.