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Anna Johnston: The Paper War

Reviewed by
October 2011, no. 335

Anna Johnston: The Paper War

Reviewed by
October 2011, no. 335

Archival riches

Grace Karskens

 

The Paper War: Morality, Print Culture, and Power in Colonial New South Wales
by Anna Johnston
UWA Publishing, $39.95 pb, 299 pp, 9781921401541

 

‘A MISSIONARY ARRESTED! A LONDON MISSIONARY ARRESTED!!’ These alarming words were trumpeted in the Sydney Gazette in 1828, and they shout from the back cover of Anna Johnston’s The Paper War. Readers might be forgiven for assuming that this book is about scandals in early colonial Australia – all the more entertaining for involving clergymen. And in a way it is, for the man arrested, Reverend Lancelot Threlkeld, is the book’s central character. His endless battles with his peers and superiors via the printed, written, and spoken word are a major focus of this book.

From the New Issue