‘Oh, Vaunted Queensland!’: A Literary Interpretation, 1862-69
About the year 1862 there 'stranded somehow on the shore of Queensland' an ex-student of King's College, Aberdeen, who had been sent down six or seven years earlier for a student prank; his name was William Anderson Forbes, but he is indexed in the few anthologies in which his verse appears as 'Alexander Forbes.' It was under this name that his Voices from the Bush was published in Rockhampton in 1869 when the Colony of Queensland was only ten years old. The small volume is remarkable for several reasons: it shares the distinction with 'Ralph Delany's' Poems and Songs (Brisbane, 1869) of earliest publication date in Queensland for collected verse; more importantly, its traditional forms convey with awe-ful clarity the plight of the moneyless immigrant in Queensland of the 1860s. Additionally, Voices from the Bush is of human interest in showing not only the effects on a man of the lonely life of an up-country shepherd, but also the metamorphosis brought about in the years 1868-69 by shared experiences and congenial fellowship on the Morinish gold-field in the Rockhampton district
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