That suicide would mean eternal damnation and they figured they had spent enough time suffering the punishments of an arbitrary absolute tyrant to risk God s endlessly innovative tortures So they decided that if one of them would murder one of the other prisoners the guy murdered would get straight to heaven the guy who killed him would get to confess his sins in Sydney to a priest before being hanged and so he would get into heaven too and those who witnessed the murder might also end up hanged too and if not they might not be lucky and not end up being sent back to the island Therefore one welcomed murder a kind of group euthanasia would end up a win win win There had been a convict rebellion on Norfolk Island and after the trial a Catholic priest was sent in to tell the convicts who were to live and who were to be executed I need to uote this as it sums up all of the horrors of the convict system better than anything else I can imagine Those who were to live wept bitterly whilst those doomed to die without exception dropped to their knees and with dry eyes thanked God that they were to be delivered from such a place Who can describe their emotions Dear God And the living shall envy the deadThis is a fascinating book Although ou might not think so from this review there are parts of it that are uite funny Hughes has a dry as dust sense of humour Some of it might even reinforce A Bush Calendar your belief in human dignity courage and perhaps even goodness But there is a great deal of this book that makesour blood boil An absolutely stunning book I can t praise it too highly As an Australian I have to say hats off truly to Robert Hughes This is a tremendously exhaustive and amazing work in which Hughes manages to trace the history of Australia in scrupulous detail In fact there s almost too much detail but for me I just lapped it up Much of the details about indentured men were new to me This should without a doubt be reuired reading in history classes in Australia Absolutely fantastic In fact I learnt by reading this book than I did from 2 ears of history classes at high school It s all here the slow destruction of the Aborigines by both diseases brought by the white man to which they had no immunity as well as the rampant slaughter of the natives of Tasmania the plight of the convicts whose lot was perhaps even worse than the natives including the horrid and hard history of Van Diemen s Land modern day Tasmania and even worse the plight of those who were sent to Norfolk Island something I knew nothing about until I read this book There are of course and fortunately tales of courage which will warm the cockles of any Aussie s heartMost importantly I leanred where the Australian concept of mateship from g day mate came from Many of the early Australians suffered together that
Is They Faced Common Hardships they faced common hardships example is the fellowship that was spawned from chain gangs And what a legacy it has produced If ou go to Australia today 50 Years of Silence you will see much beauty the beauty of the Blue Mountains the rainforests up north the white beaches and especially the Great Barrier Reef but what is striking about it all after reading this book is how deceptive that beauty is a beauty which has managed to hide all of the many tales of woe and struggle that can be found in Australia s past I read this book about 8ears ago and it s nigh time I pick it up again and brush up on the history of my own country I owe it to my ancestors I cannot recommend this book highly enough Superb PS Someone did tell me though that some of Hughes research has recently been challenged I will find out whether these claims are substantiated or not and edit this review accordingly if need be An amazing book This 600 page tome covers the founding of Australia from the First Fleet of the transportation of convicts landing at Botany Bay through the end of the transportation in 1868 The continent of Australia was an enormous jail and the author uses letters diaries and other written history to paint a picture of inhumanity that reads like fiction As he spins his tale he destroys some of the myths that Australians still accept as truths and verifies others through his impeccable research We travel along the coasts over the Blue Mountains to the island of Van Dieman s Land present day Tasmania and into the outback with some of the brave often foolhardy pioneers that settled the landescaped convicts free men and immigrants with the taste for adventure We see the attempted annihilation of the aborigines as the colony expanded into the continent and the ecological effects of civilization There is so much here that I suggest ou read this brilliant and disturbing bookit is compelling I m not uite done with Robert Hughes s excellent history of The System otherwise known as the settlement of a continent with petty criminals but since I m actually going to Australia in a week and I can see the writing on the wall as far as things getting crazier before I leave I wanted to be sure to sneak as far as things getting crazier before I leave I wanted to be sure to sneak a blog entry now More specifically I wanted to recommend this book highly despite the often brutal facts of the case I have seldom enjoyed a history ANYway Hughes s prose is crisp and readable and he has a fantastic story to tell The Fatal Shore is not a novel but it consistently evokes times places and situations that make me want to read or even write fiction set in early colonial Australia He has a fine eye for detail and uses primary sources to great advantage I He greatest non fiction books I've ever read Hughes brings us an entire world Los Angeles Tim.
D that were only names took on character and importanceI have read a substantial amount of United States history but hadn t read about Australia before This book is well documented elouently written and has a feel for the pulse of its subject It is an outstanding work of history and is sure to broaden the human perspective of the reader Robin Friedman I first read this in college when the paperback came out in 1988 I remember being enthralled by it which was notable since I wasn t at that time a history reader I had ears of thinking I should re read it and never did What a wonderful book It is not a pretty story not because the people who settled it were convicts especially since many were by our standards minor offenders or political prisoners but because of the conditions they faced and the treatment they received It was not pretty for those in charge either for that matter There were so many details that I won t go into them all just read the book It s worth it This is a great book one of the finest history books I have read covering Australia I found the book easy to read the narrative flowed along full of facts but never dull Its not stuffy and boring like a lot of history books but a very good The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race yarn I have sent copies to friends around the world and they have all enjoyed the book as well Its history at its best some very interesting stories about Norfolk Island and Port Arthur and cannibal convicts a very enjoyable tale Maybe some Australians aren t too happy with this side of our history but never the less its still our history and this book makes it enjoyable to read about This is a book I ve been meaning to get to forears I listened to this as an audio book but about half way through it became very clear that I was going to need to buy the damn thing Kids in Australian schools both when I was growing up and also now from talking to my daughters tend to learn basically bugger all about Australian History You know kids are told something about Captain Cook maybe a bit about the fact that there were convicts although generally they are told these were mostly sent out for minor crimes poor things during the Great UK Hanky Shortage it is surprising how many were supposed to have been transported for stealing hankies or bread and then straight onto the gold rush and everything is just dandyThis book is certainly not the kind of stuff we were taught in high school It is an utterly devastating read The recounting of the horrors of Norfolk Island is like reading about Guantanamo Bay or Abu Ghraib on steroids Commandant after commandant arrived and it seemed tried to outdo the previous one in barbarity Each time Punainen kuin veri you would think things simply couldn t get worse andet they always seemed toPrice a new commandant set to outdo all of the previous monsters of the island was simply perverse When ships would arrive with convicts the captain might say to him That man is uiet and has been no trouble at all now any normal person might be expected to show some kindness towards such a prisoner but Price did the exact opposite believing that such a recommendation only showed the hypocritical nature of the convict There is speculation that Price was one of those stereotypical repressed homosexuals that projects his self loathing onto those around him by inflicting infinite punishments on men he suspected of being homosexual There is little uestion he was obsessed with sodomy Although to be fair he was hardly the only one As Hughes points out taking a group of men in their twenties removing all comforts from them in fact whipping them literally for looking sideways or singing removing any hope they may ever have of living through their torment and then to expect them not to seek comfort in each other s arms seems too stupid to believeBut the savagery of the punishments almost defies belief Men receiving so many lashes of the cat savagery of the punishments almost defies belief Men receiving so many lashes of the cat nine tails that dogs were able to lick at the pools of blood left at their feet and ants could walk away with lumps of meat that had splattered from their backs Or men would receive a sentence of 300 lashes but be given 100 one week and then being brought back a week later once their back had begun to scab over to receive another hundred often there were maggots feasting on their putrefied flesh by this stageOften female prisoners were not able to be housed in the prison factory they were reuired to work in So They Had To Find they had to find accommodation to rent But this accommodation generally cost their entire wage With no money left over to buy food they had the choice of either prostitution or starvation As Hughes points out none of the women were sent to Australia as prostitutes it was not a transportable offence but few were able to avoid being raped on the way over and then prostitution when they got hereHughes makes it clear that not everyone sent over was as poorly treated as those on Norfolk Island or Tasmania or Morton Bay But these places existed to serve a purpose and that purpose was much like the Gulags of the Soviet Union ou didn t need a large percentage of the population to be sent to such hells to make people understand it was a good idea to do their best to avoid going thereSome of the things detailed in this book defy belief The men grouping together to draw lots to see which of them would be murdered and who would be the murderer and who the witnesses to the murder was perhaps the most disturbing story I ve ever read Being good Christians they understood. D's infamous convict transportation system With 16 pages of illustrations and 3 maps One of
characters õ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ´ Robert HughesA really solid look at Australia s ignoble European invasion The British turned the native soil of the Australian Aboriginal people into a prison island Author Robert Hughes The British turned the native soil of the Australian Aboriginal people into a prison island Author Robert Hughes an excellent job of giving the reader an overall idea of what it was like to be transported to this distant penal colony which was tantamount to a death sentence Just surviving the voyage was torture enough Once the poor prisoners es I have some sympathy for some of the prisoners whose crimes could be as inconseuential as petty theft arrived they were greeted by a land devoid of comfort and compassion Australia is hardcore Australia does not fuck around Hughes conveys this uite and compassion Australia is hardcore Australia does not fuck around Hughes conveys this uite I find that Robert Hughes writing is well florid He writes well but he is just too adjectival for my tastes As a big slice of information and ideas this is a good book but not a great book I would have no hesitation about recommending it but there are better books such as John Hirst s book Convict Society And It s Enemies Hughes analysis is pretty good and I do find that even though I thought I knew how grim the early period of European Australian history was I was not prepared for the cruelty and sadism described by this book More so than the British navy Australia was founded on rum sodomy and the lash On the influence on the Australia of today I think Hughes is basically right In Tasmania the influence was woeful especially with the coupling of being an island People generally want to get off islands and the More Than a Princess (The Montevaro Monarchy young and ambitious Tasmanians have over the past 160ears There is a legacy of convictry in Tasmania much like that of slavery in the deep south of America In NSW because they received Irish convicts and there was a leavening of Irish politicals this in time meant that the working class in NSW and the East Coast generally developed a chip on their shoulders about the Australian Protestant ruling classIn the end the book was too much of chore How many florid descriptions of floggings can a reader take Adjectives fail me to describe the stupendous scope and brilliance of this book Epic is right It is a history of early Australia on the one hand of the native inhabitants the Aborigines and on the other of the wretched souls who found themselves transported to the other side of the world and who uickly supplanted them The good the bad and the ugly The author s detailed researches appear to have left no stone unturned as he reveals even the taboo aspects of multitudes of desperate humanity forced to live together in unsanitary and inhuman conditions He also describes the British regime in Australia as the closest thing to a police state that ever existed in British territory which after reading the book I can only agree with But it is not only the scope detail and understanding of the book that makes it remarkable It is highly readable indeed hard to put down I knew very little about Australia before I read this book which I bought because it was recommended on Channel 4 News on the occasion of the author s death in 2012 Now I feel I have a thorough understanding of the issues and events that made Australia and Australians what they are today
A HISTORICAL MASTERPIECEAS LUCK WOULD HAVEHistorical MasterpieceAs luck would have I recently 2001 had the opportunity to make a brief business trip to Australia I knew very little about Australia and thought the best way to get some brief but non superficial background would be to learn something of its history I opted to read Robert Hughes s book which tells the story of Australia s founding and of its convict past The book is lengthy even too lengthy to complete on the 14 hour flights from the West Coast of the United States to Sydney and back But the story was fascinating and the book was well worth the attention and effortHughes tells the story of the discovery of Australia the decision of Great Britain to transport its convicted to the continent the various kinds of lives the convicts found there the aboriginal settlers and their treatment by the newcomers and the ultimate creation of a new society There are harrowing accounts of the passage from Britain to Australia in the convict ships and still shocking accounts of the secondary places of punishment created in Australia for repeat offenders places such as Norfolk Island Port Aurthur and Macuarrie Bay Hughes describes these nineteenth century camps as precursors of the Gulag in our own time and I am afraid he is correct They reminded me to of Andersonville Prison in our own Civil War but on a much broader wicked scale The description of the prisons and barbaric punishments were to me the most vivid portions of the bookBesides the horror stories there is a great deal of nuanced thoughtful writing in the book about the settlement and building of Australia and of the dangers of facile over generalization about how the convicts fared or about virtually any other historical subject Some were able to serve out their sentences and rise to prosperity and a new life Others were shamefully abused The history of the aboriginal peoples too is described and it is an unhappy subject alasHughes begins with the early days of the transport and concludes when the system was finally abolished in the 1850 s as a result of protests and of the Australian gold rushAfter reading this book I thought I had realized my goal of learning something of Australia More importantly I felt part of the land even though I hadn t seen it before and will likely never see it again Places that I read about an. The history of the birth of Australia which came out of the suffering and brutality of Englan.