Relationships to the Bush in Nan Chauncy’s Early Novels for Children


  • Susan Sheridan Flinders University
  • Emma Maguire Flinders University


Nan Chauncy, environment, Patricia Wrightson


Abstract:  In the 1950s, bush settings were strong favourites for children’s novels, which often took the form of a generic mix of adventure story and bildungsroman, novel of individual development.  In using bush settings to take up the environmental concerns of the period, the early novels of Wrightson and Chauncy added a new dimension to traditional settler images of rural life as central to Australian national identity.  The bush is loved for its beauty and revered as a source of knowledge and character building, rather than being represented as an antagonist which must be overcome or domesticated.  In this respect, Chauncy in particular anticipates later ecological concerns in writing for children.

Author Biographies

Susan Sheridan, Flinders University

Professor Emerita, School of Humanities, Flinders University

Emma Maguire, Flinders University

Postgraduate Student in English, School of Humanities, Flinders University