Thursday, October 31, 2013

two loaves and some butter

Uncle Piper of Piper's Hill by Tasma (1889)

This is one of those urban-mansion Australian novels that nobody ever hears about in Australian literature lessons because they are too busy considering Clancy of the Overflow and snakes and such. Uncle Piper deserves to be regarded as a sort of ur-mansion novel because the story itself depends on Uncle Piper owning a mansion. Come to Australia, he tells his financially impoverished English sister's family, and stay in my mansion. So they do, and there is a clash because the sister's husband is a sponging aristocrat who talks up his own titled brother even though that brother steals the teapot. Wife demoralised by his snobbery. The primary casualty of his social prejudice is a domestic victim. Tasma is sunny-natured towards all sides and usually never blights anybody without blighting someone else a little bit as well so that the blight gets shared around and there is a consistency. Ends with a shameless deus ex machina. People fall in love as if they've been told to.

Female Immigration Considered by Caroline Chisholm (1842)

Caroline Chisholm! Mrs Jellyby in Bleak House is a foggy glimpse of one aspect of her. The old Australian five dollar note was another glimpse. Witnessed through her own voice she is like an obdurate guided missile that rescues people and finds them jobs. Nothing will stop her. The book is an open letter to the powers that be, telling them what they need to do. She lays out columns of objects and numbers for their education. In the early 1840s, a newcomer to Sydney, she had noticed that women who arrived in the colony "without friends or advisers" were being picked up by pimps, johns, seducers, and madams. She intervened. She confronted the parties concerned. She made a decision. Jobs for everybody or die trying. "[A]nd from that time I never ceased in my exertions." She wanted a place for her Home. People fobbed her off. Mr Merewether gave her a room full of rats. That was all she needed. She was not going to be done down by rats.

I was put to the proof at starting: scarce was the light out, when I fancied a few dogs must be in the room, and, in some terror, I got a light; what I experienced on seeing rats in all directions I cannot explain. My first act was to throw on my cloak, and get at the door with the intent to leave the building; I knew if I did this my desertion would cause much amusement and ruin my plan; I therefore lighted a second candle, and seating myself on the bed, kept there until three rats, descending from the roof, alighted on my shoulders. I knew that I was getting into a fever, in fact, that I should be very ill before morning; but to be out-generalled by rats was too much. I got up with some resolution; I had two loaves and some butter (for my office, bed-room, and pantry, were one;) I cut it into slices, placed the whole in the middle of the room, put a dish of water convenient, and with a light by my side, I kept my seat on the bed, reading “Abercrombie,” and watching the rats until four in the morning: I at one time counted thirteen, and never less than seven did I observe at the dish during the night. The following night I gave them a similar treat, with the addition of arsenic; and thus passed my four first nights at the Home.

Hard work is what she believes in. Nowadays she would be the CEO of a massive company that started in a shed. Her determination is a kind of blind violence.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

moving off in detachments since the commencement

ZMKC, in the comments not so long ago, wondered where I found the books I'd been reading and I said, "The internet" (all out of print and many on Project Gutenberg) but to give out a slightly fuller answer I thought I'd write short descriptions of some of them and link to the places where they can be downloaded. I'll say two per post and carry this on for a little while.

A Mother's Offering to her Children: By a Lady, Long Resident in New South Wales by Charlotte Barton (1841)

This, the first children's book published in Australia, is a dialogue between a mother named Mrs Saville ("engaged at her needle") and her four children, Clara, Emma, Julius, and Lucy. Where is father? He is dead. The author had already escaped from her real husband, who was mad and drunk. "In 1839 Charlotte fled from him with her children down the precipitous Meryla Pass through the wild gorges of the Shoalhaven River to a coastal outstation at Budgong where she continued their education, particularly inculcating a love of nature," states the Australian Dictionary of Biography. "Charlotte maintained a close-knit family life in an atmosphere of learning and scholarship." Mrs Saville, as per the word offering in the title, is completely generous and will talk to her children about whatever they like so they end up on volcanoes and cannibalism.

Julius. --
What became of George D'Oyley and George Sexton, Mamma?

Mrs. S. --
They remained at Boydamy with the cruel natives about three months, when these bad people added to their crimes by murdering the defenceless boys. Master D'Oyley was a very handsome child, and they cut off his head to adorn the front of a canoe.

Emma. --
This is monstrous! How could such thoughts enter their heads?

Clara. --
Were they cannibals, Mamma?

Mrs. S. --
Yes, my dear. They ate the eyes and cheeks of the shipwrecked people.

Mrs S. pays the kind of attention to nature that people in the nineteenth century seemed to think was a normal part of being an educated thoughtful adult, taking the time to recognise that the spiders she sees murdering a purple beetle are "of a drab, or fawn color," and that their action can be described with the word "bustle." Likewise she takes the time to point out the exact location of Master D'Oyley's head, and to indicate the parts of the shipwrecked people that the cannibals ate. A habit like that is a gun: you point it and it fires.

(Ruskin believed in moral goodness and moral noticing. "I repeat then, generalization, as the word is commonly understood, is the act of a vulgar, incapable, and unthinking mind. To see in all mountains nothing but similar heaps of earth; in all rocks, nothing but similar concretions of solid matter; in all trees, nothing but similar accumulations of leaves, is no sign of high feeling or extended thought." (Modern Painters, Vol. 1))

Shearing in the Riverina, New South Wales, by Rolf Boldrewood (1871)

His real name was Thomas Browne and he was a squatter and a magistrate, which I did not know, as well as an author; he wrote Robbery Under Arms and somewhere along the way he wrote this long essay or short nonfiction book about a season at a shearing shed in the Riverina district on the border between Victoria and New South Wales. He likes his nonfiction to sound like a story, with characters for the different shearers, and the characters leading into facts: "I must here explain that the cook of a large shearing-shed is a highly paid and tolerably irresponsible official. He is paid and provided by the shearers. Payment is generally arranged on the scale of half-a-crown a head weekly from each shearer ..." So there is a moment of solitary human action and then the outspread picture: "'Shearing commences to-morrow!' These apparently simple words were spoken by Hugh Gordon, the manager of Anabanco station, in the district of Riverina, in the colony of New South Wales, one Monday morning in the month of August." He must like that technique because there's a variation of it at the start of Robbery as well. "My name's Dick Marston ..." followed by the history.

Every event is a character-event. (Suggest that he particularises his characters, and, by doing so, generalises about the nature of life. He introduces a literary structure into a nonfictional arena. Maybe this was inevitable.)

There is rain, and we discover that long periods of rain can be disastrous in your shearing season because the shearers can't shear, and then there's an attempt at a strike, which is quashed, not unexpectedly, because Boldrewood signalled his respect for authority as early as the second paragraph when he described the station owner as "a shepherd-king, so to speak, of shrewdness, energy, and capital."

After a while the shearing ends and he respects this natural point of completion by telling us that it's all over and stopping the book.

The long train of drays and wagons, with loads varying from twenty to forty-five bales, has been moving off in detachments since the commencement. In a day or two the last of them will have rolled heavily away. The 1400 bales, averaging three and a half hundredweight, are distributed, slow journeying, along the road, which they mark from afar, standing huge and columnar like guide tumuli, from Anabanco to the waters of the Murray. Between the two points there is neither a hill nor a stone. All is the vast monotonous sea of plain--at this season a prairie-meadow exuberant with vegetation; in the late summer, or in the occasional and dreaded phenomenon of a DRY WINTER, dusty, and herbless as a brickfield, for hundreds of miles.

Silence falls on the plains and waters of Anabanco for the next six months. The woolshed, the washpen, and all the huts connected with them are lone and voiceless as caravanserais in a city of the plague.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

fancy must scathe the object it shall rest upon

Caroline Leakey has a description of a phial which I find very strange.

But one figure is there --a female; her black hair flats [sic?] over her shoulders -- her eyes glisten; you have seen those eyes before; they glisten, not now with radiant joy; there is a fire in them that you fancy must scathe the object it shall rest upon. A cup is in her quivering hand; you glance involuntarily towards a phial on the table; there is a label on the phial, and on the label there are cross-bones and a skull; beneath the skull is written, in large black letters, 'Poison.'

I ask myself: why does she present the phial to me as if I were not reading about it but looking at it, and I needed the word "Poison" and a skull and crossbones to tell me that there was poison inside?

And in fact as if I needed this warning so that I didn't pick up the phial or taste the liquid inside the phial or do anything else that might bring me into contact with the poison?

She could just write, "It was a phial of poison." I could have had this adequate understanding of the phial without fakely looking. Instead I have to be extra-adequate, or outside adequate, or go through adequate and out the other side.

I say to myself: she is asking me to look at the phial at the precise moment when the one thing I cannot do in any respect is look at the phial. Looking at the phial is impossible. By absolutely no earthly power or exertion whatsoever can I look at the phial. Yet Leakey says that I am looking at the phial. She is leading me through the stages of examining the phial and seeing the details that say, "This phial contains poison." But I know that I am not looking at the phial because I don't see any of the other details on the phial. I ask myself: what colour is the phial? I can't even call it a colourless phial. She is making me self-conscious. I feel so blinded.

Another character, later on in a courtroom, shows the phial to a crowd so that it can take in the skull and crossbones. "It was produced in court, and a shiver ran through the audience as from the skull and cross-bones the dreadful word 'poison' with unmistakable distinctness bore witness to the alleged guilt." I have gone through that process already, now they're going through it, these fictional people. Noticing that they can't see the colour of the phial either. Then Norwell the seducer hears that Maida Gwynnham is going to be transported for life and not hanged, and he is so relieved that he creeps into a ballroom through a hole that is not a hole.

Norwell pacified himself with the thought, 'that will seem nothing after such a fright she would have had that otherwise,' and gladly crept out of the loophole opened by circumstance (Providence, he said) and still wider opened by the fair law of England; he crept out into--

The ball-room! No harm either -- it was the assize ball.

She's a reckless woman sometimes, Caroline Leakey.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

the convict garment confirmed her statement

Caroline Leakey changes. Caroline Leakey will spend her time recording slang.

"Canaries, sir, just fledged."

Norwell looks up, but the butt-end of the whip is pointing down at a road-gang clanking by in their yellow clothes.

Clothes are important to the convicts in this book: a woman who wears one kind of petticoat has a certain place in the prisoners' hierarchy, a woman who wears another kind of petticoat has a different social weight. "Here Maida raised her gown an inch or two above her feet, and with the convict garment confirmed her statement." A convict servant is coming close to his ticket-of-leave day and he buys a wardrobe, "gaudy waistcoat," "boots ... which, by the help of new soles, had been made to creak an incredible amount of importance," a "startling blue cravat, and, lastly, he purchased a pot of 'genuine bear's grease' for the due anointing of his anti-convict's pate." The man puts his clothes on and feels satisfied. "The robing ceremony ... soon covered every untoward circumstance."

Another convict says:

"And I can't keep out of yellows no ways. When I think now for the greys! and I am just on having 'em, something comes along to get me into trouble, and it's a sight o' time 'fore I gets out of the yellows; I haven't been out of 'em yet for more than two months to a time."

Ada Cambridge lost and gained two languages between books. Leakey lost and gained her languages between chapters. Suddenly she is allowed to think about the convicts from their own point of view, not as though they are melodramatic but as if they are ordinary. (What allowed her?)

A power altered her as far as writing went, and there's no record of what that was, or how she discovered it, if she eased into it naturally and toned down without thinking about it too much (if the shouting pitch was comfortable in a poem but hard to sustain after twenty pages of prose) or if the act of writing brought so many memories back to her (of herself, staying with her sister's family, in the New Chum position she gives to the character Bridget, who is a naive Everyman for the reader to look through) that she felt that she was transmitting actual events almost directly, the artificial sugar of the melodrama superfluous now because she was not an artificer any more, she was a recorder, language and purpose moving together like a pair of cogs, and the gossipy dialogue staring at the clothes, as she once stared at them, and as she might have been remembering herself staring.

Herself, years later in England, playing with the idea of being a convict in those clothes.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

punctiliously observed

The crudeness of "due for my ticket" compared to "punctiliously observed" is like the shove of the elbow compared to the peacefulness of the elbow at rest in polite society where resentment would seethe quietly or stifle itself humourously and not make a circular jerk.

"Punctiliously observed" making a little gap between herself and those characters. She is looking at them.

Caroline Leakey by the end of the paragraph is inhabiting the shove and the shove gets inside the language: it is the language, it is shove-language created by the person who is making the shove, who is not Caroline Leakey.

That indignation is the indignation of Tammy, not the indignation of the author (who is not due for her ticket): the contamination of the convict settlement has reached out over the years and it has come into Caroline Leakey. She will keep it, she will have it, she will melt and run; she will accept the words of that other class that is not the author-class; she will not be an author for a moment, she will not have that authority of removed language, she will melt and dissolve into the non-author classes. (I do not mean social classes.) Where is she now, what is she when she writes due for her ticket, what hybrid, what minotaur, what centaur, what animal or transmigration?

The shape of the language in the paragraph is the shape of the character's vanity: a big front ("punctiliously observed") with a small fear behind. Like a cartoon bulldog it has large shoulders and tiny hips and that is the way the language moves, from big to small.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

the right of precedence

The Broad Arrow starts with the same kind of "Oh!" that she uses in the poems; the first word is "Oh!" -- "Oh! let the merry bells ring round" -- summoning your attention, she tells you look, see, listen to "the clank of the felon's chain," pay attention to these ideas that she will propose -- "Does not the sight of the plumed hearse fill the breast with solemnity? ... Do not the voice of laughter and the song of thoughtlessness involuntarily cease, or drop to softer tones, when the toll of the death-bell meets the ear?" The speech is melodrama. Everybody is so anguished they're posing. "Ay! he will break some other heart when mine is sinking far away," bursts forth Maida, rattling her irons in a cell. "He never loved me!" ("Bursts forth," Leakey wrote, once upon a time. Little image of a pen shitting like a horse as it passes by.)

Maida receives her sentence and goes away on her convict ship. Then the author sends a family of not-prisoners to Tasmania. They are attached to the prison ministry in Hobart. Like magic the Oh-language dissipates. She still likes to address the audience sometimes, but the moans have become passé. "Does not the sight -- Do not the voice --" she doesn't want to shotgun you with those phrases any more. The impulse has left. She slows down, she makes a survey, and if she was thinking of stage performances for the first part of her story then she might be recalling an actual memory now; a young woman like herself arrives in Tasmania naively: the purpose of the writing changes, it still presents you with cruelties and inequalities and innocent people bullied, but it goes into the social nuances among the convicts.

In leaving the room Tammy punctiliously observed the right of precedence. With a circular jerk of her elbow she edged Diprose back and herself forward: it was not to be thought of, that a new expiree should walk before her, who was almost due for her ticket.

Tammy and Diprose are incidental characters; the point is not them, it's the noting of the nuance. The author is making fun of them but the comedy is the vehicle for the nuance. And the tone of the paragraph is modified as it goes, starting with the tongue-in-cheek over-explaining voice, "punctiliously observed ..." (she wants you to credit her with a sense of humour) and getting into the language of the convicts themselves: watch yourself mate, I'm due for me ticket -- going there through that moment of formal humour, which you could see as a softening agent -- humour loosening the grip of the literary language and making a loophole through which the slang could enter.

"Due" is the giveaway: it is a very subtle change of language into greed and expectation, and it is the language people still use: I'm due for a beer, I'm due for a smoke, there are still voices saying those words though voices do not say "punctiliously observed," or not often, not where I can hear them.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

thy warning finger, prest

Death is the solution that occurs to Caroline Leakey in Lyra Australis, even when she has recovered from her hip fever and moved to Boa Vista with the family of the Bishop. Death comes to her when she thinks about babies (Cui Bono?) and when she thinks about flowers (Early Snowdrop). Death is always coming, or guilt is coming, she writes a poem about the end of transportation to Tasmania, she worries that the island (too excited and pleased, these festivities make her uneasy; in another poem she squashes them with a line she gives to a child) will not be able to control itself: "oh, task most hard!" -- her job is to warn --

And let thy lips in heartfelt murmurs break
On festal voice around, with words inspired
By Him who spoke as never man yet spake,—
"Where much is given, there much will be required."

The baby son in Cui bono? will develop loose morals if its mother doesn't watch it closely as it is growing up.

Is it a time of good or ill?
Choose, mother, choose -- which shall it be?
Thy God hath left the choice to thee

The Broad Arrow overseer who "Just out of spite" let Bradley loose on Pragg is the mother's failure: he is the conduit of the arbitrary.

Everybody needs an eye kept on them, even the poet needs that keeping eye; her sorrow will be the eye that keeps on her and probed by its eye she will be mindful.

My soul, to erring prone,
Dares not, O Sorrow, walk through life's dark road alone,
She may forgetful prove.
No more upraised thy warning finger, prest
To check the murmuring sigh or thought ere yet exprest,
I may not heed thy love.
O, then, till death abide;
Then we must part, for thence beyond, my faithful guide,
No step of thine may stray:
Back to my God me brought, will be thy mission o'er.
For He hath said, from that bright land, that sinless shore, Sorrow shall flee away.

She might have read Cowper (like him, she enjoys the notion of a pathway followed by the word "alone"):

The path of sorrow and that path alone
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown.

(from An Epistle To An Afflicted Protestant Lady In France)

And bedridden in Tasmania would have come across these lines:

Thy tender sorrows and thy plaintive strain
Flow in a foreign land, but not in vain

Her depression or sadness or misery has a story that she has attached to it; it is her life-assistant, it reminds her to feel guilty, which she believes is necessary for a worthwhile religious existence, not only for herself but for others, for sons and for the mothers of sons, and for people who will not give alms in Thou Art Thy Brother's Keeper: "Shall the blood of Abel crying, | Awake to call on you." It is not awareness of original sin merely but awareness of being watched, and of watching and addressing. She writes "O!" and "Oh!"* and "Alas!," she summons attention to her before she delivers her message, she has her hwæt.

Why does she keep reminding things that she exists? Why is she anxious? I think this is the unanswered question in all of Caroline Leakey's work.

The way to lead a good life is to open yourself to vigilant unprivate interventions, or, in summary, privacy is the door to damnation.

* "Oh, soon will end this weary life" (Sonnet II); "She died of grief, they say; and oh! to me" (Blanche); Oh, many-tonèd voice of man; "Oh, crowning mercy of all blessings poured" (Thankfulness); "Oh! tell me, is the night come up? -- mine eye is darkened now" (XXVII); "Oh, what are these hidden feelings" (XVI); "But, oh! I love the willow best, still bent | To weeping" (Pale Oleander of the South); "But, oh, how oft | The thankful mother creeps to watch her boy" (Rest); "While there are those -- oh, mark them as they stand, | The blasting curse, pollutions of our land!" (Dora); "Oh! sweet complain of disappointed love" ("They Have Taken Away My Lord"); "Oh! ere Death's heavy bolt be drawn" (The Prisoner's Hospital, Van Diemen's Land); “O joy, the thunder-storm to see!" (A Tale of Conscience); "Oh! fraught within thy tiny sphere" (To a Very Early Snowdrop); "Oh! day most sacred" (My Father's Birthday); "Oh! sought of all, but rarely found" (Ode to Pleasure); "Oh! flee thee there, my trembling dove, -- | Oh! flee thee there and rest!" (The Young Mother to her Infant); "Oh! let it sleep, disturb it not" (Cui Bono?); "Oh! that grave was very small" (XXV); "Oh! brother, faint not" (And Art Thou Weary with the Strife?); "Oh, happy child! I envy thee" (The Child, that 'neath the Summer Tree); "Oh! how the moments lag" (A New Light on Illumination); "Oh! so strange a thing is love, and so wayward is the heart" (Poor Nannie's Return); "Oh, faithful bud, what power was thine!" (The Silent Rebuke); "Oh! I have strung a chain so bright" (Morning and Evening); "Oh! who may tell?" (VI); "Oh! how he came I cannot tell, I heard no footstep fall" (XXVII); "Oh! be not this thy curse" (On Tasmania's Receiving the Writ of Freedom); Oh! Paradox Most Rare; "Oh! there are thoughts, when loving forms are missed" (XXVIII); "Oh! sure these gentle beings are | A voice that calleth from afar" (Little Children) and there are more.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

the chains removed

Both Leakey and Clarke have decided that their convict protagonists will be innocent, both of the characters have been sentenced to life imprisonment in Tasmania, both are suspected of murder, both are stern and quiet, both of them are protective when they see a weaker younger person, both are preyed on by other convicts, both are hard workers, both of them resist the prison clergymen who try to resurrect their faith in Christianity. "He finds in me a spirit as proud as his own, and he delights in trying to wring a confession from it," says Maida Gwynnham. "Maida sounds pretty," says Mrs Evelyn, "the other name's rather glumpy."

Leakey the poet never uses "glumpy" or any language similar to "glumpy;" and even the characters in her narrative poems (Dora, The Messenger Knight) are not that verbally eccentric, they don't independently refuse to revolve around the central point, and the central point is not (this is what I learnt when I read The Broad Arrow after Lyra Australis) the absolute indigenous state of Caroline Leakey, but it is the possible requirements of poetic character-diction round about the middle of the eighteen hundreds and her own coincidence with those requirements.

She reaches the prose story, it occurs to her that she can use "glumpy;" she uses it; that series of letters has become acquiescent, out of every set of letters in the world she has found that set.

Every word in a book has been kept.

So when I am surprised by violence in this book, The Broad Arrow (violence that does not seem to belong in the same woman who wrote the poems, because it describes a human being who is hopelessly degraded, not degraded so that a moral lesson can follow immediately with a couplet as in her verse but degraded so that the story is filled just there with horror) I am amazed not that she wrote it but that she kept it, she held it, she allowed the world to know that she had conceived those ideas and that she wrote them down: the most exemplary person in her family, said her sister Emily who published a memoir about Caroline Leakey after her death: "her purified heart had a secret mine of joy and exuberant mirth." (Clear Shining Light, p. 69)

'No, just extricate Pragg from Bradley; but I would not have the chains removed from either,' said Mr. Herbert, who had heard the grumble, though it was not meant for him.

But just out of spite the overseer would release them: he had barely done so, than, with the roar of an uncaged lion, upstarted Bradley, knocked him down, caught up a handcuff and struck Pragg a blow that felled him to the deck and made the blood flow from his head. Bradley then flung himself on his hands and knees and lapped up the blood.

'I swore I'd never rest till I'd spit your own blackguard blood in your face; now, here it is!'

(writes Leakey in The Broad Arrow.)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

receiving its finishing touches from convict labour

(Just a note: Blogger is not allowing me to update the sidebar).

The presence of a convict town spreads corruption everywhere in one form or another, sometimes violent, sometimes not; Charlie is "a bright, glowing, bouncing boy of six years"; adult prisoners are so natural to him that he assumes he's going to be one when he grows up, as if convict is a profession.

When taken by his father to see some public work, which was just receiving its finishing touches from convict labour, he admired in silence for a long while, and then broke out:

'When I'm a prisoner, won't I build a beauty!'

Charlie is a merging agent: he is amoral, he never sees the corruption (I mean that he does not witness the dichotomy that his author sees, and on which she dwells; he has a Rabelaisian acceptance, he is free of her devils), he is pragmatic: the imprisoned people, the alcoholic people, the mad people, they are his surroundings, and once he works out that the "howl" from the "drefful wild beasts" is only a convict lunatic then he's fine:

But when Miss D'Urban told her that, wild beast or not, they had been alarmed by the most doleful wail that ever mortal heard, the wife began to wonder whence the noise could have proceeded, and wondered on until her eldest boy burst into a laugh.

'Oh! 'twas nothing, mother; 'twas only from the Cranky Yard.'

Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto. His acceptance is the cure that Leakey sees but does not want. She would rather be sick than cured like him. (There is a story that is not being spoken here, about a healthy boy whose adults are trying to make him moral, therefore ill.)

But she never changes him, which is interesting in itself: she doesn't reform him by bringing him over to her own point of view. He was not invented to be reformed then, he is not like Maida Gwynnham, who was invented for a purpose (to carry the load of the book, in other words to suffer) or like the man who seduced her (who was invented so that he could seduce her). Charlie was invented to be himself, because that is how he remains.

Why does Maida Gwynnham need to suffer? Leakey was not writing The Broad Arrow to turn people against transportation. Transportation was over before she began. Tasmania received its last convict in 1851. She started the book in 1858 and published in 1859. If she is not trying to end transportation or to titillate people with prison stories then what is she doing? Is it a warning to seducers? (The seducer suffers at the end. It is a warning to seducers.) Why doesn't the story take place in England, where she spent most of her life? Why does she see life in this torn-apart or separated state? She was evangelical and her family was evangelical: is that part of an answer? She was a migrant for a few years: the place she visited is the place she describes in detail, her homeland is a caricature.

The wrong is nebulous: it is corruption in toto, it is life, which is a mixed substance. Tasmania in this book is the place where life is strongest because it is the place where it is most mixed. The convicts exist casually next to the upper classes. Leakey herself came to the colony to replace the convict who was nursemaiding her sister's children. She chases the riven around but she can't corner it. The dichotomous crack exists intimately in the senses:

Lessons of morality and piety, listened to with reverence on the mother's lap or father's knee, were contradicted by the practices of convict life, so that Charlie was puzzled to know which was the correct path -- that commended to him by precept, or that chosen by the multitude. In fact, he had to decide between seeing and hearing.