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The Road to Botany Bay

An Exploration of Landscape and History

2010
Author:

Paul Carter

The Road to Botany Bay

Critiques the founding myth of Australia

The Road to Botany Bay, first published in 1987 and considered a classic in the field of cultural and historical geography, examines the poetic constitution of colonial society. A powerfully written account of the ways in which language, history, and geography influenced the territorial theater of nineteenth-century imperialism, the book is also a call to think, write, and live differently.

Paul Carter’s bold, ingenious account of nation-founding is itself a kind of founding book—of the adventurous discipline of spatial history. And The Road to Botany Bay is marvelous to read on traveling, on writing, on looking and seeing. A brilliant book for many appetites.

Susan Sontag

The Road to Botany Bay, first published in 1987 and considered a classic in the field of cultural and historical geography, examines the poetic constitution of colonial society. Through a far-reaching exploration of Australia’s mapping, narrative description, early urbanism, and bush mythology, Paul Carter exposes the mythopoetic mechanisms of empire. A powerfully written account of the ways in which language, history, and geography influenced the territorial theater of nineteenth-century imperialism, the book is also a call to think, write, and live differently.

The Road to Botany Bay

Paul Carter is author of many books, including Dark Writing (2008) and Material Thinking (2004). He is creative director of Material Thinking, a place-making research and design studio based in Melbourne, Australia.

The Road to Botany Bay

Paul Carter’s bold, ingenious account of nation-founding is itself a kind of founding book—of the adventurous discipline of spatial history. And The Road to Botany Bay is marvelous to read on traveling, on writing, on looking and seeing. A brilliant book for many appetites.

Susan Sontag

In this account of how Australia originated in the acts of settlement, possession, and dispossession, by explorers who traveled, named, and wrote, Carter advances a brilliantly daring notion of imperialism, one with great relevance to other regions of the world.

Edward Said

The Road to Botany Bay undoubtedly stands the test of time – it is ... an engaging and illuminating read, and Carter’s approach is still fresh.

Transnational Literature