Showing posts with the label Atha Westbury

Pseudonyms and Apologia

While reviewers differentiated between the worth of the books based on gender expectations, women writers also approached their audiences differently to men modifying their approach to meet critical reception. These women suggest that they write to amuse and entertain, and as a genteel leisure time pursuit. Apologia in the Preface or Note to the Reader written, perhaps to pre-empt some of the criticism they believed may be levelled at them.Gumsucker (Sarah Roland) begins Rosalie’s Reward or The Fairy Treasure by saying demurely: Should this story be favourable (sic) received by the little folks for whom it is written, it is the Author’s intention to publish a series of Tales, so that the merry children of the fair South may revel in dreams of their own Fairy Lore.Wilcken (1891) also revealed that it was only that under pressure from friends that she printed her stories and that ‘it seemed ungracious to refuse such a request’. (Preface)
Another way of avoiding criticism was to use a pseu…

An Australian Prince

The 'princes' of Australian fairytales were often miners and stockmen glorifying the bushman character. Reflecting the appeal and allure of the outback male we find that in Australian Fairytales (Frank Atha Westbury, 1897:35) the 'prince' is a shy youth called Nugget with an appealing bush toughness and lack of social graces. He rescues a princess whose hand in marriage is well above his station and is quite 'smitten.'                                                                            'It was amusing to see the attention the Nugget bestowed upon the fair young creature by his side, and to note the tell-tale blushes which ever and anon suffused her face as their eyes or their hands chanced to meet.' This princess is transported home, not on a magic carpet or coach but on a means of transport common in the colonies - a donkey! Rather than castles, Australian palaces were more likely to be a mansion in Toorak (in Melbourne) or Valcluse (Sydney) -  the…