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Untrodden Dresses, Loose Trowsers, and Trailing Skirts: walking through colonial space


Frost, L, Untrodden Dresses, Loose Trowsers, and Trailing Skirts: walking through colonial space, Women's Writing, 5, (2) pp. 201-212. ISSN 0969-9082 (1998) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/09699089800200039


Women who wrote about leaving the British Isles for Australia during the nineteenth century call attention to the spatial syntax within which an "I" constitutes herself as she moves around, never forgetting that the dress of her body is coded within a syntax rigorously gendered. Prescriptive though the ideology in which they were situated, the women's itineraries were not identical, as evidenced in three autobiographical accounts of life in the colony of Victoria during the years of mid-century: Clara Aspinall'sThree Years in Melbourne(1862), Ellen Clacy's A Lady'sVisit to the Gold Diggings of Australia(1853), and TheJournal of Annie Baxter Dawbin(1858-68). This article employs the figure of "walking" in autobiographical texts to ask what spatial practice reveals about the textualising of female agency.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:Australian literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Frost, L (Professor Lucy Frost)
ID Code:14216
Year Published:1998
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:1998-08-01
Last Modified:2011-08-09

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