An Australian Bush Track (1896) is a dark novel, a colonial fantasy-adventure by author J.D. Hennessey in the style of H. Rider Haggard’s She. The story of an expedition into the Queensland interior by a group of speculators hot on the trail of fabulous wealth, its heroine is a charismatic young bushwoman equipped with heedless courage, a fast horse and a rifle. The novel is unrepressed in its representation of colonial racism and the driving forces behind it: frontier violence and dispossession, land acquisition and the relentless pursuit of wealth and resources.
An Australian Bush Track takes us on an expedition to unknown territories, encountering lost worlds and inland seas. Along the way there are amorous train journeys, coach chases, Aboriginal attacks, shoot outs and unwanted marriage proposals. The novel also gives us an Australian girl who charts her own route through a speculative male fantasy.
The edition includes an introductions by Ken Gelder and Rachael Weaver.