Dec. 26th, 2014

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Look what I got!


Howitt's journal is one of the main sources used by people writing about the Victorian gold rush, so it seemed like a required reference book to have.

Sea Wolves and Bandits is similar in a way. It's one of those book from the 1940s full of collected anecdotes & oral history that often turns out to be source of much that has been written later. Also, potentially a good sources for ideas that might be written later. It has been on my want list for a long time.

The preface says:

In "Sea Wolves and Bandits," Mr. Leslie Norman has recorded for posterity further glimpses of early Tasmanian history which should prove of great interest to a wide reading public. He tells of sealing, whaling, smuggling, piracy, "wild men" of Van Diemen's Land, bushrangers and bandits, wrecks and wreckers. But for his research, many of these picturesque characters would have passed into obscurity down the gloomy corridors of time.

A little over a hundred years ago, the bitumen roads of Tasmania were country lanes flanked with hedgerows and punctuated with inns for the convenience of stage-coach travellers. Lurking in the eucalypt forests were men of the calibre of Michael Howe and Brady, who both struck terror into the hearts of wayfarers, and attacked and robbed homesteads. Of Brady, Mr Norman says:

"No more spectacular band of brigands existed than that of Brady and his companions. Mounted on blood horses and armed to the teeth, they rode the country highways of Old Van Diemen's Land...."

A fascinating chapter has been written around smuggling and piracy on the Tamar, Forth and Leven rivers These bold characters are described as "bold old beachcombers, sometimes in gaol and sometimes out, they lived their lives and evidently enjoyed themselves."

I also gained a copy of Tasmanian Gallows that sister had bought for me at the market when I couldn't decided which of two books to get (odd little collection of anecdotes type book that also looks at some issues involved in capital punishment). And from mother a set of Rogues and Absconders, which are slim books I see around a lot but never got around to buying, and little book about history of William St the year before Boags Brewery took over it (and my grandmother gets referenced as a source).

(Also, 5 Santa Russian dolls, 4 cat mugs, 2 rolls of Magic Tape & a king-size leopard print mink blanket to use a couch throw.)


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