Bards in the Wilderness: Australian Colonial Poetry to 1920

By Brian Elliott & Adrian Mitchell


Bards in the Wilderness is an anthology of colonial poems selected not on the ‘beauties of literature’ principle but for their historical importance — because they are most characteristic and lively and give the most vivid and immediate impression of an historical past which we are only now in a position to view in an historical perspective.

Therefore, to some extent the editors have passed over poems that were ambitiously literary, preferring rougher verses that seemed somehow more real and told more of the people who wrote them and for whom they were written. Ballads have been excluded because they are so well known and so often anthologised. The editors support their selection by an introduction, very detailed notes on the poems and brief biographies of the poets.

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