'My head-cook ... appeared in an evening dress of black net and silver': (re)viewing colonial Western Australians through travellers' imaginings

Cindy Lane


Did travelling writers who observed the white European population in Western Australia in the latter half of the nineteenth century feel that they ‘stood [a]mong them but not of them’, and to what extent were their ideas preconceived? This article examines how contemporary thought and ideology influenced travellers’ attitudes towards white Western Australian society between 1850 and 1914. In writing about the colonists, travellers’ observations shaped, and were shaped by, the assumptions, ambitions, and ideologies of the institutions they represented, and those already existing in Western Australian society.


Western Australia; travel writing; cultural history; nineteenth century; twentieth century

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