Author(s): Graham Seal
Yarns, legends, myths, jokes and anecdotes are our national lifeblood. The home-grown and borrowed tales, told and re-told over generations, offer an insight into the larger national story of which every Australian has a part...Was Breaker Morant the Gatton murderer? What happened to Sniffling Jimmy and Black Mary? We revisit some of the most colourful characters in Australia's past, and the stories that have grown around them. We go looking for the real illywhacker and find out what happened after the execution of our most famous outlaw, Ned Kelly...It takes a certain character to make a living in the Australian bush. In the most difficult situations, laughter often comes to the rescue. Here are pioneers and battlers, convicts and settler's children, and a land that tests them with fire, flood and drought, all in stories resonant with Australia's distinctive wry humour. Dip into Larrikins, Bush Tales and Other Great Australian Stories for a taste of Australia's rich history and traditions...'Full of interesting yarns, tall tales and intriguing details that come to life in a fascinating storyscape' - Robyn Floyd
Graham Seal AM is Professor of Folklore at Curtin University, and a leading expert on traditional Australian culture. He is the author of many books about Australian history and culture, including the bestselling Great Australian Stories, Great Anzac Stories and Savage Shore. His These Few Lines: The Lost Lives of Myra and William Sykes won the National Biography Award.
The Great Australian storyscape..Acknowledgements..1 WIDE BROWN LAND..Eaglehawk and Crow..Great floods..Firestick farming..'The landscape looked like a park'..Captain Cook's Law..The corners..2 UPON THE FATAL SHORE..Leaden hearts..The Ring..The melancholy death of Captain Logan..The Convict's Tour to Hell..'Make it hours instead of days'..Captain of the push..The Prince of Pickpockets..3 PLAINS OF PROMISE..'I was not expected to survive'..The town that drowned..Wine and witches..Phantoms of the landfall light..Tragedy on Lizard Island..Who was Billy Barlow?..The temple of skulls..Chimney Sweeps' Day..The dragon of Big Gold Mountain WC..Fearful..4 A FAIR GO..Black Mary..The Tambaroora line..Mates..A glorious spree..The Greenhide Push waltzes Matilda..The Bunuba resistance..The bagman's gazette..Homes of hope..5 HOW WE TRAVEL THE LAND..Rangers and rouseabouts..The swagman's union..The oozlum bird..The Tea and Sugar Train..The black stump..The rise and fall of Cobb & Co...The Long Paddock..The real Red Dog..6 DOING IT TOUGH..Depending on the harvest..'Women of the West'..Cures!..A seasonal guide to weather and wives..Backyard brainwaves WC..WC Sugar bag nation..Happy Valleys..Sergeant Small..The farmer's will..7 HOME OF THE WEIRD..Curious discoveries..The marble man..Was Breaker Morant the Gatton murderer?..Vanishing vessels..Yearning for yowies..8 ROMANCING THE SWAG..Lore of the track..Sniffling Jimmy..The poetic swaggie..'There you have the Australian swag'..A swagman's death..Where the angel tarboys fly..Bowyang Bill and the cocky farmer..The Mad Eight..9 AFTER THE KELLYS..The saga..A Glenrowan letter..'I thought it was a circus'..A death in Forbes..Living legends..The stranger..10 THE CHILD IN THE BUSH..The beanstalk in the bush..Forgotten nursery rhymes..The lost boys of Daylesford..Fairies in the paddock..Surviving Black Jack..11 LARGER THAN LIFE..The fate of Captain Cadell..The Fenian..The last bushranger..Lawson's people..The Coo-ee Lady..Australia's first Hollywood star..A vision splendid..The illywacker..12 WORKING FOR A LAUGH..Droving in a bar..A fine team of bullocks..A stump speech..Working on the railway..Service!..High-octane travel..Railway birds..Rechtub klat..The Garbos' Christmas..A Christmas message..Total eclipse of communication..The laws of working life..Somebody else's job..The basic work survival guide..Twelve things you'll never hear an employee tell the boss..Excessive absence..Running naked with the bulls..Doing business..The end of a perfect day..Sources..Bibliography..Picture credits