To Try Her Fortune in London

Australian Women, Colonialism, and Modernity


Between 1870 and 1940, tens of thousands of Australian women were drawn to London, their imperial metropolis and the center of the publishing, art, musical, theatrical, and educational worlds. Even more Australian women than men made the pilgrimage "home," seeking opportunities beyond those available to them in the Australian colonies or dominion. In tracing the experiences of these women, this volume reveals hitherto unexamined connections between whiteness, colonial status, gender, and modernity.
  • Oxford University Press; August 2001
  • ISBN 9780195349054
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: To Try Her Fortune in London
  • Author: Angela Woollacott
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press

In The Press

"Although life histories feature prominently in Woolacott's account, this is not simply a thrilling adventure story Drawing on postcolonial theories, she investigates the meaning of whiteness. The construction of identities, and the relationship between center and periphery in the British Empire."--Oceania and the Pacific Islands
"In its several intertwined arguments concerning the ways in which white colonial women's travel between Australia and London (and back) were one such 'vector' shaping global modernity, the book exemplifies the rich potential of the new post-colonial history for generating fresh insight into formation of national and international subjectivities."--Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History.
"This is a wonderful book. It is well written, beautifully designed and conceptually challenging."--Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History.
The themes in To Try Her Fortune in London also belong with new theoretical approaches to discussions of national identities, discussions that emphasize that such identities are formed outside, as well as inside, national boundaries, in imagining and creating narratives about the other--nations, colonies, centers of empires."--Australian Book Review
"There have been a number of studies of the way in which British imperial power structured colonial stereotypes but few surveys of the experiences of colonial subjects as they interacted with that imperial power at its centre. Woollacott's book bases its thesis mainly on personal accounts of such experiences and weaves them into a compelling argument."--Australian Women's Book Review