Foreword: Romantic love and intimacy in Australia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript/introductionpeer-review


This essay presents a thesis about the origins and development of ideas about marriage, romantic love and intimacy in Australian history from the colonial era to the present day. It argues that history of the convict era, with its horrific exploitation and abuse of convict women, and the frontier violence experienced by Aboriginal women, have cast a long shadow on the promise of love, intimacy and marriage that is missing from British history, and under-examined in American scholarship on romantic love. Despite such an unpropitious start, however, the mid-nineteenth century saw a burgeoning culture of romantic love that bears similarities to that of Britain and the United States, as free immigrants from Britain began to settle the colonies. In the twentieth century growing American influence was experienced in the form of romantic consumerism, but how Australian culture also remained, on the whole, resistant to the optimistic imperative of the American popular culture of romantic love
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLove and intimacy in contemporary society
Subtitle of host publicationlove in an international context
EditorsAnn Brooks
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis Group
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9780203702123
ISBN (Print)9781138572935, 9781138572331
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • romantic love
  • intimacy
  • Australian history popular culture
  • Women's history


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