No Tyranny of Distance: The Reception of Publications on Australia in The Athenaeum 1828-1850


Periodicals of the 19th century comprehensively informed English readers about journeys to Australia as well as about travels and expeditions on the continent. How extensive British interest in such journeys and in general information about Australia was and how English journalists evaluated books about such journeys can be shown by an analysis of one of the leading weeklies. Among the many periodicals that shaped readers' opinions in every field of knowledge during the first half of the 19th century, The Athenaeum is especially suitable to an analysis of its 'Australian content', because the periodical was published regularly every week since 1828, its quality was generally recognised and it aimed at an educated middle-class readership. The anonymous contributors were intellectuals who shared the moral convictions of their age and whose political affiliations were on the liberal side.' The Athenaeum, called since June 1830 'Journal of English and Foreign Literature, Science and the Fine Arts', informed about the scientific societies, reviewed topical books about Australia, emigration guides and scientific monographs about the biology, zoology and geography of the continent, and at a later period also novels and poetry.

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Published 1 October 1996 in Volume 17 No. 4. Subjects: Aboriginal Australians - Literary portrayal, Australia - Literary portrayal, Australian literature - Overseas responses, Colonisation of Australia, Critical reception, Periodicals.

Cite as: Maack, Annegret. ‘No Tyranny of Distance: The Reception of Publications on Australia in The Athenaeum 1828-1850.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 17, no. 4, 1996, doi: 10.20314/als.66e95b4a47.