Thursday, July 16, 2009

Terra Australis

When I started my new job, I thought that I would be dealing with a completely random selection of books. However, I've noticed that each donation has its own unique theme. This week I've dealt with the library of a psychiatrist, a collection of books by Jewish writers and a some rather strange titles about Australia and New Zealand, all published in the 1880s. Here are two examples of the latter:

I somehow doubt that the author was referring to the Aborigines.

In the second example, the heathen Maoris are being given a good talking to by the Pioneer Bishop. The book contains some illustrations of grim-looking schools, built for the education of the natives.

Although the books were very different from each other, they all shared an appalling attitude towards the indigenous population.

This episode in British history is obviously highly regretable, but would you want to live in a world without Rolf Harris?*

* From a 2014 perspective the answer may be yes.


JRSM said...

That Australian one is all too characteristic of the era. From the 1870s on there was a real 'Native' movement here, meaning Australian-born people of European background, who were proud of their Antipodean-ness. It was this that actually led to the various Australian colonies becoming a single country in 1901. Weirdly, Western Australia since voted to leave the federation, but never actually got around to doing so.

kimbofo said...

The Rolf Harris clip is slightly creepy. I couldn't stop staring at the way he shaved his beard -- so many straight lines isn't natural.

analytics said...

Rolf is a genius. Odd to see that there is a slight cut at the end before he has his little 'additional thought' there. Normally the camera keeps rolling where oyther presenters would cut. Take for example Animal Hospital. Most people would present it thus:

"sadly, rex got gradually worse and had to be put down"
[cut through 90 degrees, presenter turns to camera with a cheery grin]
"let's look at some puppies"

Here's Rolf:

"sadly, rex got gradually worse and had to be put down"
[Rolf, looks at camera with lips closed tight, his eyes brimming with tears, he breathes in deeply through his nose. Suddenly as if a cloud has passed he regains his composure and a smile grows from the corner of his lips, his eyes brighten]
"let's look at some puppies"

No cut, the camera is on him at all times! Such unforced and seemingly natural change of character and emotion is rarely seen in film or theatre.
They should try him as Leontes in The Winter's Tale!

genevieve said...

He's a one-off, our Rolf. A very thin line there between him and Barry Humphries sometimes.
Love the foot in the air at the end.
That's genius too.