The Crossing


I am grateful, firstly, for the support I have received from my fellow scholars. Most importantly, my supervisor, Dr Danielle Wood, whose insight and writerly wisdom, unfailing enthusiasm and encouragement, helped me overcome the inevitable challenges (not all of them creative) I encountered. Also, Dr Robert Clarke, who generously and sagaciously oversaw work on my exegesis, the theoretical foundation of this thesis; and Dr Jayne Knight, Coordinator of the Honours program at UTAS, an extraordinarily caring and conscientious academic and administrator.

I am appreciative, too, of the forbearance and flexibility of my family and friends – my wife, Andrea, and our children, Angus and Eliza, most of all – and of my former manager at the Hobart Passport Office, Jonathon Darby.

Also, I am indebted to Ian Morrison, Senior Librarian at Libraries Tasmania, who guided me through the Bridges archive and accompanied me (in spirit) on this, the first phase of my projected ‘Bridges Renewal Program’; and to the State Library of Tasmania for funding the Humanities in Place Industry Engagement Scholarship that supported my research.

Finally, I acknowledge the assistance I have received from Roy Bridges himself, in the form of his novels, Green Butterflies and A Mirror of Silver, which I quote (directly and indirectly) in several places in this thesis, and in the form of his memoir, That Yesterday Was Home, to the spirit of which – if not always the substance – I have tried to be faithful.

Chapter 1