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Dancing with Strangers
Europeans and Australians at First Contact

$32.99 (P)

  • Date Published: June 2005
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521616812

$ 32.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Narrative and easily accessible history of what happened between the first British settlers of New South Wales and the people they found living there
    • Small episode explores broader questions relating to culture, values, and historical knowledge
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Clendinnen wrtes so well, with an eye for detail and character that maker her a pleasure to read." The New York Times Book Review

    “It is not often that a nonspecialist writing outside her usual area of study does as well as Clendinnen does here. Clendinnen writes understandably for anyone interested in early Australian history. ”

    "In this book Inga Clendinnen breathes new life into early contact between indigenous and incoming peoples in Sydney, Australia, during the late eighteenth century...This book is a wonderful rollercoaster ride through the highs and lows of cross-cultural contact, and is highly recommended." - American Historical Review, Fiona Paisley, Griffith University

    "Clendinnen writes in such an engaging, lively, and moving way and with real anthropological insight that the general reader interested in the human condition and relations between races will find her book a stimulating read." - Stefan Petrow, University of Tasmania

    "A beautifully written account of cross-cultural relations...a valuable contribution both to ways of understanding colonial pasts and ongoing efforts to pursue reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples today"
    Anne Keary, Canadian Journal of History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2005
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521616812
    • length: 346 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • availability: Available
  • 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.

  • Author

    Inga Clendinnen
    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 edition 2003, Cambridge).

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