Colonial facts and fictions : humorous sketches

Kershaw, Mark Colonial facts and fictions : humorous sketches. London, UK: Chatto and Windus, 1886.

Attached Files (Some files may be inaccessible until you login with your UQ eSpace credentials)
Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
AU0093_ColonialFactsFictions.pdf Full text application/pdf 15.48MB 210
Author Kershaw, Mark
Title Colonial facts and fictions : humorous sketches
Place of Publication London, UK
Publisher Chatto and Windus
Publication year 1886
Sub-type Other
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Series Archive CD Books Australia collection
Language eng
Total number of pages 297
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Chapter 1 (Extract)
Residents in foreign lands often think that it is an impertinence if a passing stranger write about them. Those who have been for a long time resident in a country seldom write a description of their experiences. About many things they seem to have learnt how little they really know , whilst to things of every day occurrence they have become so accustomed , that they do not think them worthy of description . The persons who do write, and who delight to write about a place, are the birds of passage . These persons know very little about their subject. The very fact of only knowing a little about a place adds a charm to an attempt at its description . If you know everything about it you are inclined to write a series of facts , while if you only know a little, there is room for the exercise of the imagination , and the production becomes a combination of truths and untruths.

Reading a book of facts is like reading a dictionary. To make facts palatable they must be diluted as you dilute whisky. Never having been blessed with a capacity for gleaning facts, I have gradually come to dislike them. Now and again facts have been unpleasantly thrust upon my attention. Some facts come out of two bottles. You take an inch of one and
dilute it with two inches of the other. In many respects these facts may be compared to the high and low pressure cylinders of a marine engine. Other facts come out of tall, gilt-necked bottles. First they pop, and then they fizzle. When you have imbibed a lot of these facts, at first you feel jolly. Afterwards you feel unwell. The facts I picked up at Port Darwin gave
me a headache. When I came to P.D. (it is an Australian custom to abbreviate), I did not know the difference between a kangaroo's tail and a gum tree. I do not think that I knew very much more when I left.
Keyword Australia -- Description and travel
New Zealand -- Description and travel
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown
Additional Notes Access to this title was made available through the generosity of Archive CD Books (

Version Filter Type
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Thu, 12 Dec 2013, 13:41:37 EST by Andrew Heath on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service