Did you know…

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.)

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One thought on “Did you know…

  1. I suppose all countries have a similar fragile and messy start. Just look at the British Isles, we have been influenced and made up of so many different people. Who can say what we were when we started. I suppose being such a new country you have the advantage of being able to examine your own history with the benefit to today’s knowledge and be aware of your own evolution. Interesting.

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