17 May 2016 Susannah

Twain and Trollope in Oz

Mark Twain at breakfast, 1895

Every week Australian ABC Radio National presents PocketDocs, a radio program featuring documentaries, fiction, monologues and musings, presented by Natalie Kestecher.

In the episodes aired on 16 May 2016, Susannah Fullerton, with Chris Wallace, Don Watson and Nigel Starck, take you on a journey back to the literary circuit of early Australia when two celebrated writers arrived on our shores.

On his whistlestop tour of New South Wales and Victoria in 1895, Mark Twain gathered material for a new book, while performing almost daily to packed houses. But the real reason he visited Australia was for something altogether different.

In May 1871 English writer Anthony Trollope boarded the SS Great Britain bound for Melbourne. With so much influence in his home country, what Trollope had to say about Australia was widely read. And Anthony Trollope said a lot. But despite his overwhelmingly positive words, Colonial Australians were not happy.

Listen now or download podcasts here:

Read more about the many distinguished writers who made the long and arduous voyage across the seas to Australia in my book Brief Encounters: Literary Travellers in Australia 1836-1939.

Do you have an opinion on these two authors? What did you learn from this conversation?

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Featured image credit- Mark Twain at Breakfast in 1895 on the US leg of round the world tour. Photographer probably Major J. B. Pond. steamboattimes.com From: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11351056

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