This book brings together essays from leading Australian and international historians in an analysis of the monumental Friendly Mission: the Tasmanian Journals and Papers of George Augustus Robinson 1829−1834, edited by NJB Plomley and re-booklished in 2008. Until this book, Friendly Mission has rarely been considered in a context beyond the immediacy of Van Diemen’s Land. Yet George Augustus Robinson’s diverse writings constitute a body of work that typically has one set of meanings for local readers, and another for those outside its sphere of production. Robinson’s texts are exemplary of the ways in which colonial texts circulated around what Alan Lester, Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Sussex, has called ‘imperial networks.’
Reading Robinson remains cognisant of local resonances, including personal reflections by contemporary Aboriginal commentators on the colonial text. Bringing together community voices and international scholars situates Friendly Mission within broader contexts, both in terms of contemporary accounts of colonial / settler contact, conflict with indigenes and current debates analysing this material.