State Library Victoria > La Trobe Journal

No 81 Autumn 2008


Andrew Lynch
'Thingless names'? The St George Legend in Australia

The English poet Geoffrey Hill in his Mercian Hymns addresses the eighth-century Anglo-Saxon ruler Offa as 'King of the perennial holly groves, the riven sandstone: overlord of the M5'. Hill readily summons up familiar places and local images to accompany the medieval name. It can not be so in Australia, where medievalism is an evident by-product of colonialism, an exotic import from Britain and Europe, and offers no sense of continuity with the land; it signifies, rather, an imperial imposition of names and their old associations on the local environment, where they exist in tension with indigenous and nationalist versions of Australian identity. Whether as a 'young country' or as the 'oldest living culture', Australia may seem a very unlikely habitat for the medieval.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to deny the significance of the medieval imaginary in Australian cultural memory. In the nineteenth century—the period of Walter Scott, the 'Gothic Revival' and Tennyson's Idylls of the King—the international phenomenon of medievalism became part of official Australian culture.1 One sign of its power is that visitors to the State Library of Victoria approach the main door by passing between two mighty equestrian statues dedicated to medieval tradition: Jeanne D'Arc, a replica of the second version by Emanuel Frémiet, installed in 1907, and Joseph Edgar Boehm's St George and the Dragon, installed in 1889 [Ed.: see cover images, and Gott, p. 53ff.]. Boehm's St George (plaster 1876) was not cast in bronze till 1885, and was then purchased by the National Gallery of Victoria after it featured in the Melbourne Centennial Exhibition of 1888-89.2
Boehm (1834-90) was widely praised for realist portrait statues of known figures such as Thackeray and Carlyle, but in the 1870s had also 'made a deliberate attempt at large, ambitious, ideal sculpture',3 hence the Melbourne work. He also enjoyed a high reputation as a sculptor of racehorses. Amusingly, given the much later State Library pairing, it was suggested that his expert eye 'would not approve the young cart-horse on which Frémiet's Joan of Arc sits astride in the Place de Rivoli'.4 Indeed, Boehm had closely adapted St George's horse from his own Rearing Thoroughbred with Groom of 1875. Melbourne acquired Boehm's group just as his critical appeal waned in England. Carlyle had urged him to give the St George 'the spirit of real struggle',5 but critics found it quite lacking. Francis Turner Palgrave, writing of the plaster form of 1876, found the composition 'incongruous' and 'chaotic'. The dragon was a 'mean sort of creature' and even the horse 'may have been hired for the occasion from a brewer's team'. St George 'disports himself overmuch as a dandy; if dressed, he might adorn a drawing room, but, here in the nude, as if ready for the circus, he is not a saint, nor quite a sinner'.6 Edmund Gosse wrote in 1885 that the bronze

Fig. 1. Screensaver image, advertisement for Boag's St George beer

fails to excite our enthusiasm. The dragon is a languid reptile; St George is simply a trooper 'surprised', like Diana, 'at the bath.' Imagination is totally wanting … the whole group lacks, not size, for it is enormous, but largeness, which is quite another thing. We find ourselves fancying that Mr Boehm made a small finished sketch and had it mechanically enlarged to the present bigness.7
Gosse may have guessed right about size and scale. Mark Stocker suggests that 'one of Boehm's sources of inspiration was a 56mm. medal!', William Wyon's Prince Albert (1845).8 Like Palgrave and several other adverse critics, Edmund Gosse evidently had strong, if implicit, ideas about what the English patron St George should look like. He censured Boehm, whom he considered 'radically prosaic',9 for straying into realms of poetry and the ideal. The national character of his art also came under question. In 1885 Gosse called the Viennese-born sculptor 'English to his finger-tips',10 but by 1894, now boosting the 'New Sculpture', would assert that he 'was never an English artist'.11
It remains an issue for the Australian audience as to what the transported image of St George might have meant, or come to mean, in his new home. Thanks to our predominantly English colonial magnates, there are names and images of St George throughout Australia, but how have they adapted to the changing new climate? To take one locality as example, the name of St George is everywhere in my home city of Perth—the
main street, the Anglican cathedral, a bank, a new beer, a distant rugby league club, a college of The University of Western Australia—but these instances do not vouch for a numinal presence, deep national culture, or re-adaptation of a prior local tradition. 'St George' relates to absolutely nothing present in the area before 1829, and it is clear also that the colonial context in which the name was originally adopted and accepted no longer applies. These oddly ubiquitous St Georges may now seem, in Samuel Beckett's phrase, 'no things but thingless names'.12
In particular, the medievalist associations of St George's name and image might seem quite irrelevant to its contemporary cultural work, or at best vestigial—shreds of bygone political and religious ideology that can now only be cynically or ironically invoked. The poet Chris Wallace-Crabbe satirises those who 'gapingly had to aggrandize Michael & George, / those tinned swordsmen / as armorial killers'.13 The latest incarnation of St George in Australia is a beer made by the Philippines-owned, Launceston-based firm James Boag. According to company advertising, 'Boag's St George is named after the knight who has featured on the labels of Boag's beers since the company began …. because of … [the founder's] great respect for the legend'.14 The label claims St George was chosen 'to symbolise the triumph of the individual over extreme adversity'. More prosaically, according to the advertising industry magazine B&T, Boag's St George is a brand invented by Young & Rubicam Melbourne, aimed at broadening the company's reach: 'The campaign uses the tagline "Gallantry is back" (Fig. 1). In the ads, men are chivalrous, courteous and go out of their way to look after women they hardly know.'15
The St George beer advertisements invoke the burden of masculinity and career success exemplified by the fearless Saint, and alleviate them by humour. The stigma of softness attached to 'premium' beer is activated but the compensating class promotion is shown to predominate: a scruffy young man on a plane quests to become a pilot so that he can one day invite the beautiful woman next to him into the cockpit. The woman's presence is unusual. Boag's St George beer screensaver, like nearly all Australian versions of the myth, has none. It features only St George, his comically timid horse, and the dragon, who seems temporarily knocked out rather than killed, after which St George has a beer, as the message comes up: 'Your screen has been saved'. Most earlier Australian designs of the St George and Dragon were of the statuary, emblem or medallion type, featuring the knight and beast fused in one combat image, as in Boag's original label, based on Benedetto Pistrucci's design used on the English sovereign since 1816; the dragon is shown receiving its deathblow. Boag's screensaver, like other modern Australian representations, gives the dragon a more separate space and identity, minimises the sense of danger, and comically downplays the aggression and violence.
For modern Australians, identification with the dragon is apparently easier than with the knight or saint. St George Rugby League Club takes its name from the area south of Sydney known as St George, perhaps from the Georges River in the district, or simply as a
typical parish name of the period.16 The club was known from its senior foundation in 1921 as the 'Saints' or the 'Dragon Slayers', but ' …[i]n a peculiar twist the … sobriquet in later years became the "Dragons". The killers of the dragon became the dragon itself.'17 The club eventually merged with the Illawarra Steelers in 1998 to form the St George Illawarra Dragons. So it could be reported on 24 September 2006 that the 'Dragons' had been narrowly defeated in the NRL finals by the (Newcastle) 'Knights'. St George Illawarra's official club badge now shows both knight and dragon posed in a form that gives each equal prominence, rather than in combat with the dragon overridden by the saint. They are each legitimate personae of the one brave combatant, but the dragon is literally the 'foregrounded' and 'positive' image. Recent market positioning of the St George Illawarra club favours the dragon more strongly than the knight, for instance through the medievalised dragons on its homepage background. Something similar has occurred to the large Sydney-based St George Bank, developed from the St George's Cooperative Society, founded in 1937. Its logo has lost St George completely, and now links to the bank's name only through 'Happy Dragon', who, according to the website, 'made his first appearance' in 1970 and visits 'children's homes, hospitals, schools, and of course, St George's events'.18 No one minds that the legendary dragon's only 'event' with St George was not a happy one. The 'languid reptile' of Boehm's statuary seems to have survived the last 120 years better than his conqueror.
These modern developments look like the passage into comedy of a military and religious myth as reverence for its former significance fades, rather like the pre-Romantic descent of chivalric romances into burlesque. St George himself has long been part of that process, through many chapbooks, ballads, mummings and pantomime theatre versions. George Lazar's 'St George and the Dragon; or Harlequin and the Seven Champions of Christendom' was performed at the Royal Victoria Theatre in Sydney in 1846.19 Ray Lawler wrote a 'St George and the Dragon' for the National Theatre, Eastern Hill, Melbourne, December 1951.20 But an examination of the history of some other Australian St Georges suggests that the process has been deeper and more complex than that. Our St George has always lacked many features of the medieval tradition.21 The martyrdom and very extensive tortures (passio) of the saint are missing; he is scarcely an archetype of light overcoming darkness; he does not feature as a model of chastity or devotion to the Virgin, nor does he conquer a creature representing female sexuality; in nearly all Australian cases, he lacks a maiden to save. Australia did not start with a full myth of St George which has been gradually eroded. Rather, we began with an inherited name, rather late within a mainly English branch of a pan-European tradition, and have given it distinctive local accretions and interactions. To be understood, these changes must be considered over a long period of time, in the context of the specific cultural relations established between church, state and community. One function of the St George legend—the sanctification of military or quasimilitary service—has predominated, although sometimes obliquely, in many of these transformations, and provides their main thread of connection.

Fig. 2. Altar, St George's Cathedral, Perth.
Reproduced by permission of the Dean, St George's Cathedral.

Perth again provides my main exemplar. St George's Church, on St George's Terrace (the main street of Perth), was in effect the city's first Anglican church with a conventional name. It was dedicated in 1844, replacing an earlier structure of 1829 apparently called 'St James' but always known only, from part of its fabric, as the 'Rush Church'. The cathedral's official historian, John Tonkin, to whose work this essay is much indebted,22 has not found how or why the name St George's was used in Perth, but the English association was probably uppermost, in keeping with the very close ties between the Church of England and the Swan River Colony military authorities. From 1837, Anglican services were held in the court house, also used as a school, a small building which still stands in the Supreme Court gardens across the Terrace, next to Government House. This shared arrangement became unpopular, not through the approved association of Anglican religion with English rule and law, but through its indecorous obviousness—identifying the church with 'the wrangling disputations of a law court';23 'we were obliged to witness the angry strife of litigants on the same spot where we have bowed the knee before our Maker. By such associations, our recollections of past instruction were obliterated, and our better feelings were outraged';24 'a matter of great regret to all, that a place appropriated to the instructions of the doctrines of

Fig. 3. Copy of German wooden statue of St George, St George's Cathedral, Perth.
Reproduced by permission of the Dean, St George's Cathedral.

peace, should have been used as the scene of an exhibition where the worst passions of human nature were brought into play'.25 In the movement to build St George's, the colonial military law court was constructed merely as a low theatre of strife, whilst the Church of England was made to stand for a peaceful England itself. John Wittenoom, the Colonial Chaplain, demanded
a place of worship exclusively devoted to the service of God, where we could meet with becoming reverence, and perform those hallowed ceremonies of the Mother Church, to which we had been accustomed from our youth, and which bound us in one tie with our native country.26
At the dedication of the St George's foundation stone on New Year's Day 1841, the Governor was present with a military detachment and town leaders. He supplemented the Book of Common Prayer service by reading out an inscription to be sealed within the stone. It spoke of 'planting christianity, and civilization, on ground but a few years back covered with a dense forest, and trodden alone by the savage'.27 No reference was made to the myth or iconography of St George, or of his cult as English patron saint. The new church was vaguely classical (some said 'barn-like') in proportions, and the clergy were conservative, not
given to the worship of saints, and specifically apprehensive of Roman Catholicism. No medievalist associations were made, not even, for example to St George's Chapel at Windsor, which had attracted much patronage from George III, and held the bodies of the three most recent monarchs. The chosen name seems to have stood as a generic national and religious identification: a marker of royalty and Protestantism, of British currency—'the sovereign' in another sense—and a recognisably English parish church name. The military associations of George, the soldier-saint, either went unnoticed or were too obvious to need mention. Enough real soldiers were present.
On formal occasions like this, the interests of the Church of England and the colony were represented as one. Yet the wish for the church to distance itself visibly from the secular authorities was all the greater just because it was and would remain so dependent financially and contained physically. The site of St George's, on the block bounded to the west by Barrack St, was surrounded by the Barracks, the military hospital and the officers' quarters. The Deanery was built in 1859 on the site of Perth's first gaol. The Church of England in Western Australia was 'largely supported by government grants through the original chaplaincy system', then after 1851 'by the convict system', and later by the government's 'Ecclesiastical Grant', until 1894.28 Far from offering a reverent peace, Divine Service in a one-Church of England town confronted settler worshippers with harsh colonial facts. A correspondent in the Perth Gazette, May 1852, complained of 'the disagreeable noise made in St George's during the Divine Service, by the clinking of the chains of the native prisoners … causing a jar to the feelings which one would certainly wish to avoid in the performance of our most solemn duties!'29 The will to replicate English decorum inevitably highlighted perceived local deficiencies—the shabby building, slack services, low standard of singing, and insufficient lay support from pew rents. St George's desired what it called a 'perfect identity' with the Mother Church. All its senior clergy were British, products of Cambridge and Oxford colleges. Bishops and deans were appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury or on English recommendations. Yet it was in actuality part of and reflective of the local colonial situation. Required yet unable to supply the real presence of 'Home', caught between the redundancy and the inadequacy of its Englishness, it struggled throughout the nineteenth century to find a workable local idiom.
Perth became a separate diocese, and hence a city, in 1858, but it was not until the building of the new cathedral, completed in 1888, that further expressive opportunities were created for St George's. The Victorian Revival 'Early English' Gothic building of red brick was designed by Edmund Blacket, the architect of Sydney's University Quadrangle and St Andrew's Cathedral. Along with the architectural possibilities of a raised altar, choir stalls, chancel screen, a side chapel, stained glass, and carved canons' stalls, came some High Church ritualism, introduced by Dean Goldsmith.30 Liturgical vestments were not worn at St George's till the 1930s,31 but Goldsmith was still attacked by Winthrop Hackett in the West Australian (December 1893) for 'shrinking back into the mists and cloudy symbols of medievalism'.
None of these late nineteenth-century changes involved the figure of St George in an important way, but the cathedral's development of a medievalist symbolic idiom coincided with and enabled the new demands made on it by war. Along with its adoption of the 'eastward position'—the former building was aligned north-south—St George's gradually re-oriented itself towards expressing an ideal of military service. The change was made evident in both the fabric of the building and its perceived civic function. This was partly a matter of personnel: Riley, Bishop and Archbishop from 1894-1929, a Low Church man, was a chaplain in the Boer War, became a Chaplain-General of the Citizen Military Forces, strongly supported conscription, and referred to the Great War as 'a time "for teaching those sterner duties which, with the exercise of love and gentleness, make up the Christian character"'.32 Nearly all the major additions to the cathedral in his time were war-related, such as the Burt Memorial Hall (1918) commemorating the donors' fallen sons, and the Soldiers' Memorial Chapel (1923), 'on the site where Edward Blacket had envisaged a Chapter House' and where Riley had proposed in 1910 a 'Chapel of Peace' as a memorial to Edward VII.33
To quote St George's website, the Soldier's Chapel includes 'on the rood beam across the opening in the Chancel wall the "Cross of Sacrifice" which is an exact replica of the crosses used in the cemeteries of France and Belgium'. Embossed upon it is a naked sword, and engraved on the beam are the words "Their name liveth for evermore"',34 found on war memorials everywhere, including the Menin Gate, subject of a famous Longstaff painting. High-sounding and archaic formulations, in this case from Ecclesiasticus 44:14 'Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore', were often chosen for secular war memorials,35 bridging the remembrance due to military heroism with the Christian concept of heavenly immortality. In St George's case, the secular link was reinforced considerably in 1956 by the introduction of the cross of Villers-Bretonneux, which 'originally marked the common graves of WA officers and men killed during the battle'. Whereas the chapel originally held as its chief object a 'copper cased Book [the gift of Riley] containing the name of every West Australian Anglican who had been killed in the first World War', the cross extended the existing symbolism more widely, apparently aiming at something like a complete identification between Western Australian deaths in war and the Christian sacrifice. The inscription reads: 'Erected to the memory of the officers, NCOs and men of the 51st Battalion AIF who fell in the counter attack at Villers Bretonneux 24-25th April 1918'.36 St George's has in 2007 held an impressive Great War exhibition in the Burt Hall, and is participating in an 'Our Other ANZAC Day' tour to Villers-Bretonneux in 2008, bearing as gift a replica of the now sacred Villers-Bretonneux cross. The tour company's promotion describes this battle as 'the greatest feat of the war' and the Australian participants as 'freedom fighters'.
The cathedral's official history notes that from the nineteenth century onwards its services commemorating major national events have been the best attended. At the launch
of the restoration appeal in May 2006, the historian Geoffrey Bolton supported his theme of St George's relevance to the Perth community by recalling VP Day 1945, when the building gradually filled with thanksgivers after the news of peace was announced. It functions, effectively, as a state church, and positions itself as such largely by military and war references, as well as state funerals. Morning and evening prayer are held in the Soldiers' Chapel. The cathedral also holds many services connected with the armed forces and the former British Empire. Aside from the usual anniversaries, services in recent years have involved or commemorated: the Normandy Veterans' Group; the UK Combined Ex-Service Federation; the HMAS Perth Survivors' Association; the Order of the British Empire, as well as the Order of Australia Association; the Palestine Police Old Comrades Association; the Battle of Britain; the Guards' Association; the Oxford Society; the Nelson Society 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar; and Charles, King of England, Martyr. In recent times, the Chapel has prominently displayed Sir Paul Hasluck's Garter banner (lately removed for safe-keeping), with an implicit self-resemblance to St George's Chapel, Windsor, home of the Order of the Garter. There is an assurance that Western Australian continuity with England persists, and that Western Australia is a real participant in English military and chivalric tradition.
The evident 'Englishness' of these activities, reinforced by the manner of services, high-quality choral music, the name and St George flag, also acts as a political counterweight to the cathedral's theological liberalism. Perth has been locked for years in an ideological struggle with the diocese of Sydney over the relation of scripture to church tradition, especially with regard to the ordination of female priests and bishops, lay administration of the sacraments, and attitudes to gay and lesbian sex. Perth has been seen as the liberal, even radical edge of Australian Anglicanism. Its traditional 'Englishness' assures the local community, on which it depends financially—a $15m cathedral restoration appeal is in progress—of its historical patriotism and conservatism in other ways, and fits well with its long role of support for the armed forces.
It seems that no image of St George himself appeared in the cathedral until at least the 1980s, well after 1969 in which the Catholic Church had effectively delisted him. He did feature earlier, however, in the altar window of its offshoot, St George's College of The University of Western Australia. St George's College, c. 1931, is almost as old as the Crawley campus of the University. Its style is red-brick Tudor. The college chapel, whose foundation stone was laid by Archbishop Riley himself late in his life, and was designed to his Cambridge ideals by General Sir Talbot Hobbs, features a south window with five lancets. Riley and Bishop Broughton, in whose diocese Perth formerly was, flank the early British missionary saints Boniface, Augustine and Aidan. Facing them in the north window, behind the altar, Christ is flanked by St George in armour, and St Paul. Paul carries the symbolic 'sword of the spirit which is the word of God' (Ephesians 6), suggesting that this George is a real knight with a sword of temporal authority to be wielded on Christ's behalf, one necessary to the spreading of the word. The whole functions as a late imperial image, in
which the missionary and educative role of the Church of England in Australia is seen as a replay of early Christianity's progress in pagan Europe.
In the cathedral itself, St George has appeared since 1991 on the new jarrah altar at the head of the nave (Fig. 2), which brought the eucharist service much closer, and facing the laity. It was a controversial move at the time since the idiom was not directly scriptural, and, according to one informant, considered 'folkloric'. The eucharistic suggestion here is of Christ conquering Satan, and grace triumphing over sin, as in the Scot William Dunbar's late medieval resurrection poem, 'Done is a battle on the dragon black', and Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene, Book I, Canto 12. Allen Frantzen has written of European Great War memorials that 'conflated prowess with piety'.37 This one conflates piety with prowess. The cathedral also has a copy of a late medieval German wooden statue of St George, which is placed in the north transept (Fig. 3). An ancient Russian icon of the saint has more recently been placed in St Saviour's chapel, a former store room below the Soldier's Chapel. So St George has appeared in St George's Cathedral in his own right only after he has been understood as neither Catholic nor real, and only well after many other features of the cathedral's fabric and operations have enthusiastically taken up the work of military commemoration. The saint's image is not required to make his traditional link between Christianity and war—'piety and prowess'—but war has nevertheless provided probably the cathedral's strongest historical bond with the Perth community.
At roughly the same time that St George imagery was moving back into Perth's religious high culture, popular masculine culture of St George was influencing the actual military. An Australian War Memorial photograph of 1968-69 shows a Lance-Corporal and Trooper in Vietnam with the unofficial St George and Dragon badge of 1 Troop, 3 Cavalry Regiment, Royal Australian Armoured Corps. 'LCpl Flood wrote seeking permission for the armoured personnel carrier (APC) troop to reproduce the St George dragon emblem of the club. The club replied by sending over fifty six emblems.'38 Beyond religious tradition, the immense success of the rugby league club—eleven consecutive premierships from 1956-66—gave 'St George' a significance which allowed real Australian soldiers to treat the image seriously and spontaneously lay claim to it. What started out in Australia as a sign of Englishness had become thoroughly acclimatised in a new way, as a marker of masculine solidarity for these troops and the club.
Historically, the St George image has been employed in peacetime to give a sense of heroism and nobility to non-violent cultural and political struggles, as in John Ruskin's Guild of St George (1879). Ruskin saw the mission of his own guild in allegorical terms, a war waged on behalf of traditional Christian values, represented by the saint, against the disruptive forces of industrial capitalism, embodied in 'the Lord of Decomposition, the old Dragon himself'.39
It was the lack of such idealist struggle in Boehm's St George that critics condemned. In wartime, as in the Great War, the allegorical strife of the Saint was readily transferred to
actual combat and killings of real enemies. John Masefield invoked Ruskin in 1918 to assert St George as the 'spirit of … [the] country, … a soul which never dies, but lingers about the land for ever', and who 'gives a sword, to all who call upon him'.40 At Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby, 'the memorial represents George killing his traditional adversary above the inscription: "There are dragons still. 1914–1918"'.41
Ken Inglis points out that such triumphalist works, like Boehm's St George, differ from the Australian mainstream. The St George and Dragon stands apart from the mainly contemplative and non-belligerent memorials built after 1918, where generic soldiers brood over their fallen mates, often holding but rarely using weapons, let alone killing, and without enemies present.42 Similarly, Perth's St Georges are not monuments for the 'fallen', the supposed 'self-sacrificed', as Allen Frantzen calls them.43 They supplement the sacrificial and commemorative imagery of the nearby Soldiers' Chapel with something else. St George is now essentially a victor, not a martyr, his image not about sacrifice but hostility—killing and triumphing over an alien enemy who deserves to die. The image forbids identification of Christianity or good with the defeated, and limits sympathy to the home side. It may be that in its conjunction with the war memorial aspects of the cathedral, the St George myth hold in potential a more radical form of sacralized militarism than Australians are used to.
Meanwhile, in the context of Perth, what St George seems able to provide is a subtle relation of religious imagery to the issue of war, a way of vouching for the mutual support of church and state while avoiding the 'jar to the feelings' or disturbance to 'the doctrines of peace' that resulted from their over-closeness in colonial days. In this connection, the remote medievalism of the image—facing a fabulous enemy with sword and lance rather than rifle and bayonet—allows it to be more readily tolerated. The obvious archaism of the motif, along with its comic diminishment in much contemporary Australian popular culture—'Your screen is saved'; 'Happy Dragon'—removes from historical scrutiny, and so arguably strengthens, its basic premise: that war is a matter of good against evil, a moral struggle rather than a social and political disaster.
The 'afterlife' or 'half-life' of colonial medievalism in Australia is unpredictable. In this case of St George, its trajectory has not been steadily cumulative, nor a masterminded programme of conscious discardings and appropriations of tradition, nor a simple process of cultural attrition, but something that has gained unpredictably in symbolic range as its original historical referents have faded or found articulation in other ways. Like Spenser's Red Cross Knight, whose survival depends on learning to read the symbolic system in which he features, Perth's cathedral has apparently reaffirmed its identity as St George by learning from a chance series of military adventures. The result looks like a half-accidental realignment of a 'thingless name' with a 'nameless thing', an unacknowledged Australian cult of holy war.
Note: Thanks to Anne Louise McKendry for much help in researching this article, and to the Australian Research Council for the assistance of a Discovery Grant.


See Stephanie Trigg, ed., Medievalism and The Gothic in Australian Culture, Carlton, Melbourne University Publishing, 2006.


Mark Stocker, Royalist and Realist. The Life and Work of Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, New York, Garland, 1988, p. 292.


Stocker, Royalist and Realist, p. 17.


Edmund Gosse, 'Living English Sculptors II', The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Vol. 31, New Series Vol. 9 (1885-86), pp. 39-50, p. 42.


Stocker, Royalist and Realist, p. 290.


F. T. Palgrave, Saturday Review, 39, (1876), p. 746, cited in Stocker, Royalist and Realist, p. 290.


Edmund Gosse, Saturday Review, 59 (1885), p. 822.


Stocker, Royalist and Realist, p. 291.


Edmund Gosse, The Art Journal, New Series 14, 1894, pp. 199-203, p. 200.


Gosse, The Century, 31, p. 40.


Gosse, The Art Journal, 1894, p. 200.


Samuel Beckett, Molloy, New York, Grove Press, 1970, p. 41: 'no things but nameless things, no names but thingless names'.


Chris Wallace-Crabbe, 'The Origin of Dragons', I'm Deadly Serious, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1988.




Ian Heads, March of the Dragons. The Story of St George Rugby League Club, Sydney: Lester-Townsend Publishing, 1989, p. 8.


Heads, March of the Dragons, p. 40.



Thanks to Louise D'Arcens for this reference. The play is held on microfilm in the NSW State Records.


The play's programme is held in the State Library of Victoria.


For a fine account of the medieval St George legend and its later developments see the entry 'George [St. George], by Henry Summerson in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. See also Samantha Riches, St. George. Hero, Martyr and Myth, Stroud, Sutton, 2000.


John Tonkin, Cathedral and Community. A History of St George's Cathedral. Perth. Nedlands: University of Western Australia Press, 2001.


Editorial, Perth Gazette, 25 March 1837, p. 2, cited in Tonkin, Cathedral and Community, p. 10.


John Wittenoom, reported Perth Gazette, 3 February, 1888, p. 3, cited in Tonkin, Cathedral and Community, p.11.


G. F. Moore, ibid.


John Wittenoom, ibid.


Tonkin, Cathedral and Community, p. 13.


Tonkin, Cathedral and Community, p, 29.


Tonkin, Cathedral and Community, p. 20.


Tonkin, Cathedral and Community, pp. 54-55. See also Colin Holden, Ritualist on a Tricycle. Frederick Goldsmith, Nedlands: University of Western Australia Press, 1997.


Tonkin, p. 56.


Tonkin, Cathedral and Community, p. 79.


Tonkin, Cathedral and Community, pp. 79-80.



Ken Inglis, Sacred Places. War Memorials in the Australian Landscape, Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1998, pp. 2; 48-49; 255-57.



Allen Frantzen, Bloody Good. Chivalry, Sacrifice and the Great War, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004, p. 3.


Australian War Memorial, Canberra,, ID Number ERR/68/0869/VN. The badge itself is ID Number RELAWM41035.012.


Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 'George [St George]', citing John Ruskin, Fors Clavigera, ed. W. G. Collingwood, 4 vols. (1891), I. 332.


John Masefield, St George and the Dragon. A Speech for St George's Day, April 23rd, 1918, London: William Heinemann, 1919, pp. 4-5. See p. 10: 'Ruskin, who saw no hope anywhere but in the coming back of St. George'.


Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 'George [St George]'.


K. S. Inglis, Sacred Places, p. 169: 'The great majority of soldier statues depict men in passive rather than active stances. …. For every picture showing warlike action, about ten depict repose'.


Frantzen, Bloody Good, p. 3.