that the governor of South Australia between 1899 and 1902, and the Governor General of Australia between 1902 and 1903, was the son of celebrated poet Alfred Tennyson?
Me neither. But it’s kinda cool (and kinda creepy – British imperialism, and all that…).
I discovered this whilst poking around at fodder to use for my introduction. Tennyson, you know, beloved medievalist poet, well-read even in the colonies, UK poet Laureate.
Australian history never appealed to me when I was at school, and I think now that’s because it’s so messy and so fragile. Who can say when Australia begins – when was it invented? (Of course, it is still invented, daily.) When did the English cease being ‘us’ and become ‘them’? Pretty early on, I suppose, but it’s messy. (As I now know, ‘English’ and ‘British’ are also contested categories with tangled pasts, reinvented daily.)