British Travellers and the Invisibility of Australia’s Past, 1868–1910

  • Richard White
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


British travellers have visited Australia in many guises: as writers, tourists, investors and migrants, convicts, cricketers, gaolers and governors, ‘new chums’, ‘remittance men’ and ‘pommie bastards’, all part of the flow of people, ideas and information to which a new transnational imperial history has been directing attention.1 But whatever the guise, their visits were framed within a complex cultural relationship in which Britain was the ‘Old Country’ and Australia the new. It would take some time before Australians began to see Australia as old, to think of their past as an object of the tourist gaze and to learn how to be nostalgic about their own history. 2 In that process, British travellers played a significant role, less in what they saw than in what they failed to see. Their regard or disregard for the Australian past shaped not only the development of tourism in Australia but also Australians’ broader understanding of their history. So let us begin with an American abroad.


Tourist Attraction Popular Tourist Heritage Tourism Terra Nullius Australian History 
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© Richard White 2013

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