Story: Fiction

The heart of the bush

The heart of the bush

Adelaide Borlase is the heroine and protagonist of Edith Searle Grossmann's The heart of the bush (1910), the novel she is best remembered for. In the first part of the book, Borlase must choose between Horace Brandon, a cultivated, handsome Englishman, and rough but decent New Zealand farmer Dennis MacDiarmid, whom she first knew as a child. In this passage from the opening chapter of the book, MacDiarmid emerges from the bush, as comfortable in his environment as the trees and birds:

The carriage passed down the road-cutting and stopped in a river-bed. The bush rose up before them on the high opposite bank, not so much like a wall as like rising galleries of green living shapes – primeval, beckoning, calling. Out of its recesses there came a rough-coated primitive bushman who made his way slowly across the ford, riding a bay horse and holding the bridle of another. His voice full and deep, as he urged the animals on, reached them melodiously like one of the forest sounds that echoed amongst the cliffs and rocks. (The heart of the bush, p. 12, http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-GroHear-t1-body-d2-d1.html#n12)
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New Zealand Electronic Text Collection
Reference: Edith Searle Grossmann, The heart of the bush. London: Sands & Company, 1910

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How to cite this page:

Lydia Wevers, 'Fiction - Romance, Māori and pioneer fiction, 1880s to 1910s', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/document/41914/the-heart-of-the-bush (accessed 16 October 2019)

Story by Lydia Wevers, published 22 Oct 2014, updated 19 Aug 2015