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Favenc, Ernest

Entry updated 3 October 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1845-1908) UK-born explorer, historian and author, in Australia from 1864, becoming famous for his explorations of the Australian interior from the mid-1870s on, though his histories and studies of Australian history, geography and culture were thought superficial, even at the time. His fiction was better received, especially for its vivid depictions of inland Australia; but did not make a serious impact. Novels of sf interest include The Secret of the Australian Desert (dated 1896 but 1895) and Marooned on Australia: Being the Narration by Diedrich Buys of his Discoveries and Exploits in Terra Australis Incognita, About the Year 1630 (dated 1897 but 1896), both adventures for Young Adult readers with Lost World elements, and both dedicated to the proposition that any sign of civilization on the part of Aborigines must necessarily constitute a Parody of some lost civilization: in the first, the excuse for the Australian treatment of Aboriginals is that they are not Lemurian; in the second, that they are not "Quadrucos".

Most of Favenc's short fiction is supernatural, but "A Haunt of the Jinkarras: a Story of Central Australia" (date of magazine publication in the Sydney Bulletin unknown; in "The Last of Six": Tales of the Austral Tropics, coll 1893) places into its Lost World venue a civilization of creatures who seem to be at the edge of becoming Homo sapiens (see Apes as Human). [JC]

Ernest Favenc

born Walworth, Surrey: 21 October 1845

died Sydney, New South Wales: 14 November 1908



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