The Luck of the Irish: How a Shipload of Convicts Survived the Wreck of the 'Hive' to Make a New Life in Australia
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Media: BOOK - paperback, 312 pages
Author: B. Smith
Other: b&w & colour photos, map, bibliog, index
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
The author of the bestselling 'Cargo of Women' and 'Australia's Birthstain' tracks the lives of Irish convicts who arrived in Australia the mid-1800s, uncovering a long-lasting influence of the Irish convicts on our national character.
They landed at a time when the so-called slave colony was at its height, ruled by the lash and the chain gang. Yet as Babette Smith tracked the lives of the people aboard this vessel, she discovered a very different story. Most were assigned to work on farms or in businesses, building a better life than they possibly could have experienced in Ireland. Surprisingly, in the workforce they found power, which gave rise to the characteristic Australian culture later described by D.H. Lawrence: 'Nobody felt better than anybody else, or higher.'
'The Luck of the Irish' is a fascinating portrait of colonial life in the mid-nineteenth century that reveals how the Irish helped lay the foundations of the Australia we know today.
2. A Capacity for Violence
3. Settling to the Task
4. 'The O'Connellite Tail'
5. A Question of Fairness
6. Unnecessary Irritation
7. The Power of Numbers
8. Floating Nurseries
9. Managing Norfolk Island
10. Resisting Ascendancy
11. Catholic Friendly
12. A New Governor
13. 'Infested by Bushrangers'
14. Beyond the Penal Colony
15. Creating the Australian Way of Life
16. The Lives of Men
'Deeply researched and vividly written, it's a terrific new and up-to-date account of the convict experience, mainly from the bottom up. I'm impressed.' -Emeritus Professor Alan Atkinson FAHA, University of Sydney
'Brings the convict era to life through personal stories and insightful analysis.' - Lindsay Tanner