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Les playoust au bout du monde: a case study of two French-Australian families

Dwyer, Jacqueline

Description

The thesis begins by referring to the French traders who came to Australia in the late 19th century. Their goal was to acquire wool of fine quality in order to meet the needs of the thriving woollen textile mills in Northern France, but in bypassing the London market, they also encouraged the colony's independence from the mother country. I present two of these traders, Georges and Joseph Playoust who arrived in Australia with their families, in 1889 and 1892 respectively, and discuss their...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorDwyer, Jacqueline
dc.date.accessioned2021-03-17T04:45:02Z
dc.date.available2021-03-17T04:45:02Z
dc.identifier.otherb37811435
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/227240
dc.description.abstractThe thesis begins by referring to the French traders who came to Australia in the late 19th century. Their goal was to acquire wool of fine quality in order to meet the needs of the thriving woollen textile mills in Northern France, but in bypassing the London market, they also encouraged the colony's independence from the mother country. I present two of these traders, Georges and Joseph Playoust who arrived in Australia with their families, in 1889 and 1892 respectively, and discuss their early experiences in their new land. The second part of chapter 1 describes the education that these two brothers had received in France and compares it with the education they gave to their children in Australia. I outline the public education system that applied in France and Australia respectively at the time. I consider the values with which the Playoust brothers had been imbued in France of the Third Republic in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War. I note that despite their Republicanism, both Playoust brothers sent their children in Australia to private religious schools administered by religious orders that were banned in France. The second chapter describes the families' move to Sydney where the markets were larger. I touch on current concepts on transnationalism and apply them retrospectively to the family. I describe the leading role played by Georges Playoust in Sydney as founding president of the French Chamber of Commerce, and more generally his contribution to Australian society in which he became a public figure. I analyse in detail the speeches he made on the French National Day, both in French and in English. The third chapter is devoted to the contribution of women to the Alliance Francaise, then, when war broke out, to the French-Australian League of Help, an important patriotic fund in 1914-18 where both Playoust families were heavily involved as founders and administrators, together with Australians from the Red Cross and the Benevolent Society. The last chapter is based on the letters of the seven young Playoust men, who were mobilised by the French army to serve on the Western Front, and Jacques Playoust's diary from the savage campaign in Verdun. All these men had been educated in Australia, and wrote in English to each other, but in French to a young Parisian cousin. I analyse the complex web of ideas and sentiments expressed in these writings of French-Australian men in an extreme situation, fighting for their homeland far from 'home'. The conclusion returns to the themes of patriotism, transnationalism and French-Australian relations. Original letters and speeches and my translations of them are included in the Appendices.
dc.format.extentV1,198 leaves
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.subject.lcshFrench Australia
dc.subject.lcshWool industry, Australia, History
dc.subject.lcshAustralia History
dc.titleLes playoust au bout du monde: a case study of two French-Australian families
dc.typeThesis (MPhil)
dcterms.valid2016
local.type.degreeMaster of Philosophy (MPhil)
dc.date.issued2015
local.contributor.affiliationSchool of Literature, Languages and Linguistics
local.identifier.doi10.25911/91Z5-9P68
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsOpen Access Theses

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