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Cambridge University Press
Dancing with Strangers: Europeans and Australians at First Contact

Dancing with Strangers: Europeans and Australians at First Contact

by Inga Clendinnen
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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521616812
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 06/06/2005
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 346
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.79(d)

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 edition 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.

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Dancing With Strangers: Europeans and Australians at First Contact 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
joe1402 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story of the contact between indigenous Australians and the British in what became Sydney between 1788 and 1795. Clendinnen shows that the first Governor, Arthur Phillip and Bennelong wanted much the same thing - to try and get the other to adopt their ways. The diseases brought by the British destroyed many of the Australians in the first few years throwing their society into chaos. Clendinnen goes to great lengths to explain Phillip's attempts, and eventual failure, to understand the Australians' culture, and shows where the lack of British imagination and the huge gulf in linguistic understanding eventually led to tragedy.