The Fin de Siècle Imagination in Australia, 1890-1914

This book explores the fin de siècle, an era of powerful global movements and turbulent transition, in Australia and beyond through a series of biographical microhistories. From the first wave feminist Rose Summerfield and the working class radical John Dwyer, to the indigenous rights advocate David Unaipon and the poet Christopher Brennan, Mark Hearn traces the transnational identities, philosophies, ideas and cultures that characterised this era.

Examining the struggles and aspirations of fin de siècle lives; respect for the rights of women and indigenous peoples, the injustices and hardship inflicted on working men and women, and the ways in which they imagined a better world, this book examines the transformation and renewal brought about by fin de siècle ideas. It examines the distinctive characteristics of this ‘great acceleration’ of economic, technological and cultural forces that swept the globe at the turn of the nineteenth century both within an Australian context and on the world stage. Asserting that the fin de siècle was significant for the making of modern Australia, and demonstrating the impact Australian fin de siècle lives had on the transnational and global movements of the era, Mark Hearn traces the turbulent nature of the fin de siècle imagination in Australia, and its response to these dynamic forces.


Mark Hearn is a senior lecturer in the Department of History and Archaeology, Macquarie University. His research focuses on the history and historical theory of the fin de siècle, and the history of ideas and governance in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He has published several books and has had scholarly articles accepted in a wide range of journals including Journal of Australian StudiesGender and History and Rethinking History.


The Fin de Siècle Imagination in Australia, 1890-1914 is published by Bloomsbury Publishing.