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Dancing with Strangers: Europeans and Australians at First Contact


Dancing with Strangers: Europeans and Australians at First Contact Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In January 1788, the First Fleet arrived in New South Wales, Australia and a thousand British men and women encountered the people who would be their new neighbors. Dancing with Strangers tells the story of what happened between the first British settlers of Australia and these Aborigines. Inga Clendinnen interprets the earliest written sources, and the reports, letters and journals of the first British settlers in Australia. She reconstructs the difficult path to friendship and conciliation pursued by Arthur Phillip and the local leader 'Bennelong' (Baneelon) that was ultimately destroyed by the assertion of profound cultural differences. A Prize-winning archaeologist, anthropologist and historian of ancient Mexican cultures, Inga Clendinnen has spent most of her teaching career at La Trobe University in Bundoora, Australia. Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan (Cambridge, 1989) and Aztecs: An Interpretation (Cambridge, 1995) are two of her best-known scholarly works; Tiger's Eye: A Memoir, (Scribner, 2001) describes her battle against liver cancer. Reading the Holocaust (Cambridge, 2002) explores World War II genocide from various perspectives.


Story of the first British settlers of Australia and the people they found living there.

About the Author

Inga Clendinnen is Emeritus Scholar in History at La Trobe University. She is also the author of Aztecs (Cambridge, 1991), Reading the Holocaust (Cambridge, 1999), and Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in the Yucatan, 1517-1570 (2nd. ed, 2003, Cambridge).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Dancing with strangers; 3. Meeting the informants; 4. Governor Arthur Phillip; 5. Captain John Hunter; 6. Surgeon-General John White; 7. Judge-Advocate David Collins; 8. Watkin Tench, Captain-Lieutenant of Marines; 9. Settling in; 10. What the Australians saw; 11. Arabanoo; 12. Enter Baneelon; 13. Spearing the Governor; 14. 'Coming In'; 15. House guests; 16. British sexual politics; 17. Australian sexual politics; 18. Boat trip to Rose Hill; 19. Headhunt; 20. On disciple; 21. Potato thieves; 22. Expedition; 23. Crime and punishment: Boladeree; 24. Barangaroo; 25. Tench goes home; 26. Phillip goes home; 27. Collins goes home; 28. Collins reconsiders; 29. Baneelon returned; 30. Bungaree; 31. Enter Mrs Charles Meredith; 32. Epilogue.

Product Details

Clendinnen, Inga
Cambridge University Press
Australia & Oceania
Social history
Australia & New Zealand - Australia
Australia History 1788-1851.
Great Britain Emigration and immigration.
World History-Australia and New Zealand
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
8.94x6.24x.75 in. 1.01 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Australia » General
History and Social Science » World History » Australia and New Zealand
History and Social Science » World History » General
Languages » ESL » General

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