A short history of literature, art, music, theatre, architecture, science and learning in Australia 1788 – 1972. Dr. Serle discusses the problem of national-versus-international-oriented art and provides an overall theory of  the evolution of settler culture and cultural growth in Australia. Australia did lag behind the European and American cultural development before developing its own distinctive characteristics and for decades our culture was a little of this, some of that and a dash of the other, with the few writers and artists scattered in a big country and often unknown to each other. But World War II brought the beginning of institutions that began to nurture culture: the ABC, the Commonwealth Literary Fund, the state education system, the CSIRO, the literary magazines (particularly Meanjin, Southerly and Overland), and to some extent the universities.  By the 70s, we were very Australian and original in the creative arts.