Colonial women’s letters and journals form a distinct literary genre that is an important component of Australian literature, providing unique insights into the challenges of settlement, domestic life, social and gender issues.
The letters and journals written by women in colonial Australia may not generally be thought of as an integral part of Australian literature, even if they are recognised for their historical importance. These texts were private in nature and neither formally published nor transmitted orally like the popular folk songs and ballads of the period. Despite this lack of wider recognition, these writings form a distinct literary genre and provide unique insights into colonial life which are often absent from the more popular works of the time. In particular, insights into the challenges of early settlement, domestic life, social and gender issues of the time.