This article explores the relationship between minstrelsy and tough Anglo-Celtic youths, or larrikins, in late nineteenth-century Australia. St Lucia: University of Queensland Press. Along the way, it reveals much that is unexpected about the development of Australia's larrikin streak to present fascinating historical perspectives on hot 'youth issues' today, including gang violence, racist riots, and raunch culture amoung adolescent girls. This indeed makes it a novel enterprise. Lords and Larrikins is in many ways an exquisite diatribe directed at the cocktail of prejudices and insecurities which have allowed — and still allow — certain actors to be deemed suitable for leading roles in Australian theatre while relegating others to the role of low player. To become both visible therefore famous and invisible therefore not caught in responsibility for what you are not willing to carry a larrikin has to be a quick-change artist more than anything. You can read one of her articles on larrikins and Australian theatre in Australasian Drama Studies vol.
Journal of Australian Studies , 2:1 March 2008 : 63-77. There are poems about growing up in Brisbane and living in Sydney, yes — and also about rain, snow, stars, moonflowers, angels, dreams, sex, Tuscany, Horace, and A Critique of Pure Reason. This article has been peer-reviewed. There were quite a few Americans around Melbourne during the 1860s for the gold rush, but probably not enough to sustain minstrelsy, as Melissa says. I live in London, England and have only just discovered, upon my return home, the existence of this documentation.
To only be responsible when you choose, and fall back on the images other would create of you the rest of the time, is part and parcel of the continuing challenge to embrace Republicanism or create a local alternative. This endeavour has been misconceived, because the single taxers renounced class as the key to their politics. Several factors were at play. The father of this young boy, eight years old at the time, was in a situation that his wife Emily had died from a self-administered dose of Strycnine poison in a drunken rage only months before. Journal of Social History 42. When it first emerged around 1870, however, larrikin was a term of abuse, used to describe teenage, working-class hell-raisers who populated dance halls and cheap theatres. Birks provides us with an example of Australian manliness that was not based on toughness and anti-sentimentality.
It was this kind of independence that led to rejection of social norms and often membership of gangs. What story still needs to be told — and by and for whom? One of my current projects, Tender Feeling in a Hard Country, explores the way that Australian men have historically expressed sentimentality through popular culture and pastimes. Rather than arguing that there have been forks on a pre-determined road, the book challenges us to think about other paths or better paths that might have led to different outcomes. Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History out in late 2014. Subtle, wry, melancholic, even excoriating at times, here is an example of a lyric that does not need to be Australian to be compelling to read. Much of this article is thus an attempt to think through the particularities of larrikins' relationship to minstrelsy. Their faces stare out from the mug shots that stud the book: young, defiant, with the odd hint of a shared street identity in their haircuts and clothes.
It shows that a decisive event often becomes so only in retrospect and that what seemed like a major turning point at the time often had no real impact at all. Between the 1880s and 1930s, for example, irrigation was pushed with the zeal of a religious crusade, presented as part of a Biblical tradition tracing back to the Garden of Eden. Brand new: A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. With the centenary of the First World War approaching, it would be easy, even now, to feel jaded about the appearance of yet another work about Australia's experience of war. Rather than discuss these things, the last chapter dealt chiefly with the backlash against homosexual activism in the 1980s and 1990s.
This gives the collection a loose autobiographical shape. But make no mistake, these larrikins were hooligans and thugs: they were involved in rape, bashings, theft, anti-Chinese riots as well. Hi Melissa, Long time no see. The basis of any good history is that it stretches into the future as well as reflecting on the past. Links are made with current youth gangs or movements, but little is made of the media influences involved in these times, despite the recognition of such influences in previous times. To ensure that the full import of her endeavour receives its due, however, she needed to be less careful and more audacious about signalling its scope and originality.
When it was applied to women, it referred to sexual and criminal knowledge and an interest in flamboyant clothes. Meaning is conveyed by application of both action and commentary. By drawing attention to these modernising influences on leisure and popular culture, my aim is to expand the way the decade is imagined in Australian historiography. Crucially, the early larrikins were female as well as male. Fascinatingly, though, they expressed their enthusiasm for him in sentimental terms.
They also garnered critical praise. Not all irrigation enthusiasts placed the same emphasis on wealth and national power, however — indeed, there were some who believed it would help achieve a just distribution of social opportunity. Melissa Bellanta unpacks the origins of Aussie larrikinism as a cultural phenomenon and performance that originated on city streets. They both took on the characteristics of those authorities, and turned them into their own expressions of deprecation — sometimes of the authorities and sometimes of self, as best suited the alignment to the audience. The men are floundering about when they are serious authority figures, and when the going gets too tough and they have to revolve into self-caricatures, tells us that there is something decidedly unformed still about our national character. One found it too in the lyrics of many so-called slave songs, including this one performed by R.
By adding accounts of the anti-slavery and anti-transportation movements, however, she makes her narrative into considerably more. If resources are limited, make do with whatever resources are available to fulfil your most immediate needs and desires. It has also frequently been promoted in evangelical terms. Whether it is possible to argue for a credible alternative vision of the period I will leave to others more qualified than myself to determine — but certainly it would be hard to find a vision rendered with such energy and éclat as A Swindler's Progress. Overseas artists brought with them both fame and new material. Crucial to the warmth of their colonial reception were their connections to American slavery.
It was also for this reason that Australian society has had particular difficulties with the relationship between sex and pleasure. Staging the discovery of a lost race in the middle of the desert, adventure-romance novels like The Lost Explorer 1890 and The Silver Queen 1908 describe a bizarrely incoherent Australian landscape, a cross between Virgil's Eclogues and Indiana Jones. Bellanta gives examples of gang rapes, kicking victims to death, violent recriminations and vendettas, anti-Chinese riots and affray, and even taking Ned Kelly as a role model attacking trains. Continent of Mystery: A Thematic History of Australian Crime Fiction. Placing too much emphasis on modernity underplays the durability of older practices of consumption and gender in this period while overplaying the impact of modernizing developments on sensibilities and everyday life. Today, being a larrikin has positive connotations and we think of it as the key to unlocking the Australian identity: a bloke who refuses to stand on ceremony and is a bit of scally wag.