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Atkinson AT. 2005 Eldershaw Memorial Lecture: Tasmania and the Multiplicity of Nations. 2005.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/106
2005 Eldershaw Memorial Lecture: Tasmania and the Multiplicity of Nations
I want to start by saying something about the history of Australian history. There is a general idea, I think, that interest in the Australian past is mainly a product of the federation yem's and since. In other words, Australians tend to believe that no-one paid any attention to the history of Australia until about the 1880s and '90s. We have the impression that the birth of a national historiography, or historical sensibility, was marked by the publication of the Historical Records of New South Wales, the Historical Records of Australia and Rusden's three-volume History, by the crystallisation of 'the Australian Legend', and by the erection of all those statues which today so powerfully remind us of high Victorian pieties and aspirations. It seems to make sense that there should have been no feeling for history in this country until we were in a position to think of Australia as a single nation: one community with a single past and future.