The Composition of Geoffry Hamlyn: A Comment
Brian Elliott's article, 'The Composition of Geoffry Hamlyn: The Legend and the Facts', (Australian Literary Studies, vol. 3, no. 3, May 1968) has sufficiently stirred me to re-read the novel, after many years neglect on my part. With a good deal of inspired guess-work I believe it would be possible to identify some of Kingsley's characters with early settlers in that area now largely designated the Shire of Ripon. Without much guessing at all, but nevertheless on circumstantial evidence only, many topographical features of the country eastwards from Skipton to Ballarat can be recognized in the novel, or as Boldrewood says, his 'surroundings were judiciously utilised by the author'. Rather than make comments about the 'puzzling' geography of either Kingsley or Elliott, however, I prefer to set down the facts of local history, as far as I know them, and leave the rest to others.
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