The short story “The Drover’s Wife” by Henry Lawson takes place in the Australian outback. The time setting is sometime in the 19th century. There is a mention of the “drought of 18-“ which forced the drover to sacrifice what remained of his flock and go droving again. There were several droughts in the 19th century, happening at least once a decade. The drought in 1809, which lasted until 1811, was unusually severe, so the story might take place a few years afterwards.
The impression of emptiness and loneliness is established from the very beginning of the narrative:
Bush all round – bush with no horizon, for the country is flat. No ranges in the distance. The bush consists of stunted, rotten native apple-trees. No undergrowth. Nothing to relieve the eye save the darker green of a few she-oaks which are s...