Anthony Trollope Down Under: Travel Writing, Bushfires and Australian Ecology

Photo of Grace Moore"The three sessions will offer the Friends a chance to examine Victorian responses to the environment, with a particular emphasis on Australia. The first session will involve a presentation on my current research, which is on representations of bushfires and wildfires in nineteenth-century settler literature. The project is informed by both the environmental humanities and emotions theory and I’ll talk a little about these approaches. As part of this session, I will introduce some of the work I’ve done on Anthony Trollope’s travels (especially his representations of fire and environmental issues). We will also spend some time thinking about how Trollope positioned himself as a successor to Dickens, as both a novelist and travel writer. 

The second and third sessions will be discussions of Trollope’s wonderfully melodramatic Christmas story Harry Heathcote of Gangoil (1874). The novella is set in Australia and draws on Trollope’s own experiences down under. It’s a remarkable work for the depth of emotions that it conveys, but also for how it captures the uncanny and threatening qualities that settlers saw in the Australian bush. I have chosen Harry Heathcote because it presents an aspect of Trollope’s writing that is often forgotten, but also because it raises a number of fascinating issues including migration, race and climate change, which will, I hope, lead to some lively discussions."

Grace Moore is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Otago, Aotearoa/New Zealand.  She is the author of Dickens and Empire and The Victorian Novel in Context, and her edited works include (with Michelle Smith), Victorian Environments.  Grace’s most recent publication is a special issue of the journal Occasion, entitled Fire Stories. She first attended the Dickens Universe as a graduate student in 1998. 

 

Virtual Sessions

Anthony Trollope Down Under: Travel Writing, Bushfires and Australian Ecology Sessions
Research Talk: Representations of bushfires and wildfires in nineteenth-century settler literature
January 8, 2023
2:00 PM PST
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Discussion: Harry Heathcote of Gangoil
Chapters I-VI
February 12, 2023
2:00 PM PST
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Discussion: Harry Heathcote of Gangoil
Chapters VII-XII
March 12, 2023
2:00 PM PDT
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Recommended Edition: Project Gutenberg, or Dodo Press for those who prefer paper copies. It’s a short work, and there isn’t a standard scholarly edition, so any edition will work.

Banner image: William Strutt, "Black Thursday" (1864), State Library of Victoria, Australia.