Review of Radical Cousins: Nineteenth Century American and Australian Writers by Joseph Jones and Contemporary American and Australian Poetry, edited by Thomas Shapcott
Not long after the first settlement here, comparisons with American life and letters began to be drawn, with America offering the major alternative to England as a model for our social and cultural development. Both countries were settled as predominantly English colonies; both developed frontier societies as the hinterlands were explored, settled, and the aboriginal inhabitants subjugated; both had 'peculiar institutions'—if we consider the transportation system as furnishing a moral equivalent for slavery—which aroused debates about the ideal form society should take in die New World; and both provided laboratory conditions for testing the viability and adaptability of various strains of European idealism. As new worlds, vast continents with topographies, flora and fauna different from Europe's, they excited speculation about the future races and social institutions they would evolve; and raised problems of the appropriate artistic forms, diction or palettes for expressing life within them.
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Cite as: Kiernan, Brian. ‘Review of Radical Cousins: Nineteenth Century American and Australian Writers by Joseph Jones and Contemporary American and Australian Poetry, edited by Thomas Shapcott.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, 1977, doi: 10.20314/als.810c2213d8.