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Children of Australiaâ€™s founding convicts grow up in a unique environment. On the one hand, convicts labour in chains under lash-wielding redcoats. On the other, immigrant farmers strive to carve out a living, reluctant convicts the only available labour.
"Thomas, what is Irish?â€
Thomas looked askance. "What?â€
"Thatâ€™s what I asked you.â€
Thomas shrugged his shoulders.
"I was listening outside the door of Father Willâ€™s study yesterday, and his visitor was telling him that many convicts off last weekâ€™s ship are Irish.â€
"He didnâ€™t say what made Irish different from other convicts?â€
"Well yes, in a sort of way. It seems maybe itâ€™s a disease of some sort that people here can catch.â€
"What sort of disease?â€
"Maybe a plague or something, I suppose.â€
"Does this mean England is now sending convicts, not because they nicked something, but because they got a plague?â€
Adam nodded vigorously. He knew what heâ€™d heard, and was worried.
"Maybe this plague is what killed your sister?â€
"Maybe so because at the time Father Will wasnâ€™t sure what was the sickness that killed her. So maybe it was Irish.â€
Now they both shrugged shoulders. But the short attention span of seven-year-olds soon dissipated. They quickly returned attention to their game of "Pitch and Toss,â€ as they termed their serious game of marbles.
Yet soon Thomas sat back on his haunches.
"Did your sister turn some nasty colour before she died?â€
"I donâ€™t think so. Iâ€™d seen her earlier that day when Mama was crying over her, and the only change in colour was that she was whiter than usual.â€
Thomas nodded. "Well it canâ€™t be that, then. I just thought maybe Irish was a colour weâ€™d never heard of.â€
"The gentleman said of these Irish that they were all â€˜tinged with a hint of insurgenceâ€™ whatever that means. You ever heard anything like that?â€
"Once I heard Mrs. Appleton tell my ma that some new cotton she bought was yellow tinged with a hint of green; so maybe Irish is indeed a colour. Why donâ€™t you ask your father Will?â€
"No. Then he would know I was listening and be displeased. Iâ€™d likely be punished.â€
"Maybe heâ€™d ask the tutor to give you â€˜hard linesâ€™ again, like when you told him youâ€™d seen scarecrows in the cornfield, shouting and waving their arms about to frighten the birds.â€
To which Adam simply nodded.
They let a minute of contemplation pass before returning to their marbles.
Following a career in business management at international level, Kev attained a degree in journalism to then sweat as far up the River Nile as one can get, canoe down the Amazon, flash countless rolls of film from atop the Eiffel Tower, the heights above Yosemite, the Victoria Falls et al, scream "Oleâ€ at a Chihuahua bullfight, ride elephant trails in Thai jungles, wallow in the incredible history of Rapa Nuiâ€™s Maoi, and as convention almost demands, was mugged in Bogota. His articles on travel to exotic lands have featured in travel and airline magazines around the world.
Meanwhile, being a sixth generation descendant of Australiaâ€™s First Fleeters with an obsessive interest in Australiaâ€™s founding history, he was concerned over the generations of suppression in the education of Australians, on clouding the truth in what really happened. Years of fact-finding with the help of other dedicated researchers revealed all and Kev vowed to set the history books aright by bringing the brutal truths of convictism to light. He is well qualified to do so for as a student of First Fleet history he has presented his subject on many occasions in press, radio and television interviews. He is a Past President of â€˜The First Fleet Fellowshipâ€™ and a Past Secretary of â€˜The Descendants of Convicts Inc.â€™. During Australiaâ€™s 1988 Bicentenary he officiated in Founding celebrations in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Norfolk Island and for his work during that Bicentenary, was created Honorary Life Member of â€˜The Regiment of Redcoat Descendantsâ€™.
Kev now devotes his life to writing on not only his countryâ€™s convict history, but general fiction with an Australian flavour. He recognises the growing trend towards digital reading so follows the worldâ€™s top authors in publishing his works both as traditional paperbacks and eBooks.
His Gurrewa and Brogan series released by Wings ePress are to be followed by Letitia Munro in December 2008, To Plough Van Diemenâ€™s Land in June 2009 and The Terrible Truths in December 2009, the last three being more works on his countryâ€™s convict beginnings. Short synopses of all can be read on www.kev-richardson.com. And more works are in the pipeline.
These days Kev travels less, having retired from his Gold Coast home, left his grown family and friends to write from experiences and adventures during his exciting travels, happily ensconced in the foothills of the Golden Triangle in amazing Thailandâ€™s exotic north.
I very much enjoyed Brogan--it makes me want to go explore the channel country and corner-country. What a fascinating part of Australian history! -- Karen Babcock, editor
FIVE-STAR AWARD! Although our hero, Adam Ashby is Kev Richardsonâ€™s fictionalized convict-birthed character born to an unwed couple, a â€˜boltedâ€™ convict and his â€˜colony wifeâ€™, this story nonetheless represents the real life history of New South Walesâ€™ struggles to become more than just an overflow prison for Englandâ€™s criminals. For those of you who miss the history in your Historical reads, youâ€™ll not be disappointed in this factional account of Australian history 1790â€“1820s. "I just love the way you throw a story together.â€ -- JoEllen, Conger Book Reviews, USA
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 349
Paper Weight (lb): 10.4 lbs
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