Tasmania's Convicts: How Felons Built a Free Society (softcover)

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 344 pages
Author: A. Alexander
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9781743318720
Other: b&w photos, appendixes, bibliog, index
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

To the convicts arriving in Van Diemen's Land, it must have felt as though they'd been sent to the very ends of the earth. In Tasmania's Convicts Alison Alexander tells the history of the men and women transported to what became one of Britain's most notorious convict colonies. Following the lives of dozens of convicts and their families, she uncovers stories of success, failure, and everything in between. While some suffered harsh conditions, most served their time and were freed, becoming ordinary and peaceful citizens. Yet over the decades, a terrible stigma became associated with the convicts, and they and the whole colony went to extraordinary lengths to hide it.

The majority of Tasmanians today have convict ancestry, whether they know it or not. While the public stigma of its convict past has given way to a contemporary fascination with colonial history, Alison Alexander debates whether the convict past lingers deep in the psyche of white Tasmania.

1. Birth of a Convict Colony
2. Convicts in Britain and on the High Seas
3. Convicts Under Assignment in Van Diemen's Land
4. Convicts After Sentence
5. Convict and Free
6. The Transportation Debate
7. The Convict Stigma
8. Initial Efforts to Defeat the Convict Stigma
9. Forgetting the Past
10. For the Term of His Natural Life
11. The One Forbidden Subject
12. 'A Thing of Which We May Well Feel Proud'
13. Paving the Way
14. Out in the Open
Appendix 1: How Many Convicts left Van Diemen's Land?
Appendix 2: People Mentioned in the Text
Select Bibliography

'Alexander has written a book which sparkles with fascinating anecdotes and incidents; taken together they give us a wonderful and enriching insight into the workings of the convict system.' - Henry Reynolds

'Tasmania's convict ancestors, so long figures of shame to their descendants, are examined here in rich and unprecedented detail. In showing us what kinds of people the convicts really were, Alison Alexander dispels many myths. A landmark work.' - Christopher Koch

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Tasmania's Convicts: How Felons Built a Free Society (softcover)


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