The Australian Crucible: Alchemy in Marcus Clarke’s ‘His Natural Life’

Abstract

Abraham finds a number of clear references to alchemy in the serial version of His Natural Life, and, connecting these with biographical evidence, argues that the struggles of Rufus Dawes can be seen in alchemical terms. The alchemical process occurs before the eyes of others who are blinded (or not) to the “gold” of Rufus Dawes. The process is complete when Rufus Dawes, after passing through the “prison-furnace”, becomes, once again, Richard Devine.

The full text of this essay is available to ALS subscribers

Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.

Not a member? Subscribe now from only $24/year

Published 1 May 1991 in Volume 15 No. 1. Subjects: Alchemy, Marcus Clarke.

Cite as: Abraham, Lyndy. ‘The Australian Crucible: Alchemy in Marcus Clarke’s ‘His Natural Life’.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 15, no. 1, 1991. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.070f69db04.