Publication Details

Melleuish, G. 2001, 'Randolph Hughes and Alan Chisholm: Romanticism, classicism and fascism', Australian Studies, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 1-18.


During the 1930s Alan Chisholm and Randolph Hughes were located at the antipodes from each other, even as they shared many of the same aesthetic and political preoccupations. Hughes was an academic at King's College, London until he resigned his post and sought a living from his writings; Chisholm taught French at the University of Melbourne, rising eventually to the rank of professor. Separated by thousands of miles, they corresponded regularly, exchanging letters covering aesthetic, literary and political topics, as they bemoaned the state of the world around them. Outlooks were shared at a variety of levels. Both were dissatisfied: Chisholm wanted nothing more than to escape what he saw as the provincial world of Australia, and to obtain a scholarly position in England; Hughes meanwhile viewed the AngloSaxon academy of which he was a part with a jaundiced eye. Both also felt deeply alienated from the world around them, but were sustained by mythologies nourished by their experience of their respective situations, particularly by myths of the Antipodes, and myths of Europe. Both men detested Australia.