‘I shall tell just such stories as I please’ : Mary Fortune and the Australian Journal

KEN Stewart has described reading the nineteenth-century periodical press as the discovery of a ' virtually unmapped island of "Australian" culture' (9), making him feel as though 'something had been going on that [he] should have been told about- that an entire cultural site, even perhaps an alternative cultural identity, had been withheld from [his] awareness' (9). The early decades of the Australian Journal illustrate Stewart's point: this publication offers a celebration of·both rural and urban life, and an awareness of international trends. The Journal was a trailblazer for the production of colonial literature: Pauline Kirk has suggested that through its patronage of serial publications it was more influential on the development of the Australian novel than the Bulletin, which featured poetry and short stories (137--45). The fact that the Journal survived and prospered for ninety-seven years points to its commercial success, and while its popularity did from time to time falter the proprietors would quickly introduce new strategies to ensure its continued influence and profitability?

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Published 1 October 2007 in Volume 23 No. 2. Subjects: Gender - Literary portrayal, Readers, Reading, Mary Fortune, 19th Century Women Writers.

Cite as: Brown, Megan. ‘‘I shall tell just such stories as I please’ : Mary Fortune and the Australian Journal.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 23, no. 2, 2007. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.387a292022.