Considering the central role of the hearth in Australian settler culture, this essay examines how migrants were forced to change their understanding of fire as soon as they set sail for the Antipodes. Through an examination of a number of Christmas stories, the piece addresses how the association of fire and domesticity changed in the face of bushfires and intensely hot summers. Beginning with a brief discussion of Dickens’s fascination with hearths, this essay broadens its focus to consider work from Australian periodicals of the nineteenth century and the ways in which the bushfire displaces the English hearth in settler literature.
"Home Was Where the Hearth Is: Fire, Destruction, and Displacement in Nineteenth-Century Settler Narratives,"
Antipodes: Vol. 29
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/antipodes/vol29/iss1/2