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Customer Review

39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Emancipists and Currency, 2 Sept. 2003
This review is from: The Fatal Shore (Paperback)
The Fatal Shore is a thorough investigation into the convict system between Great Britain and Australia with a strong slant from the perspective of the convicts themselves through letters written home as well as the use of documentary evidence.
Robert Hughes has clearly researched the subject matter in intricate detail and the end product is a fascinating insight into the few positives of the convict system and the many negatives (made up primarily of the story of Van Diemans land and Norfolk Island's arbitary punishment system, ie. floggings and other sadistic 'routine' punishments).
A word of warning. This book is extremely detailed in its views and portraits of all the main characters involved in the system and for the amateur it can become confusing mixing the various phases of the convict system and the variety of governor genarals of the colony. However this small detail aside, it did not detract from the enjoyment and interest level of the subject matter and everyone who reads this book is guaranteed to learn some incredible details about the lives of the convicts that they were unaware of before picking the book up.
A well worth the read book but be prepared for a marathon of information!
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Jun 2011 08:42:12 BDT
Brass Monkey says:
He's right - be prepared for a Marathon of information. At one point I found myself making lists of the important people in the early years of the Colony, with brief descriptions of who they were. That aside, an absolutely fascinating book.
One thing I would have liked to know, - is there in existance anywhere, a list of the names of the 160,000 transportees, names dates details ? One of my ancestors was transported, but it seems impossible to find out anything about him.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Aug 2011 16:22:45 BDT
Malcolm says:
I am not sure if there is a complete list of the transportees with names, dates, details etc., if such a list exists, then a good place to start would be The National Archive at Kew.
If you know your ancestors name and town, county of origin, then a local records office would have some record of transportees.
I worked for Norfolk Museum Service some years ago, and each town, kept a Gaol Book, listing offenders name, crime and sentence disposal (hulks, prison, transportation and such like) I remember reading that some people were transported for several years, sometimes for stealing a loaf or two of bread, simply because their children were starving. The crimes that they were transported for were paltry when one considers the heinous crimes of the 21st Century.
So a good place to start is by asking at your local library or records office.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Jan 2012 23:24:45 GMT
Savvyshopper says:
Do you have his full name, date of birth, where and when he was transported from? I may be able to help you with this.


In reply to an earlier post on 13 Dec 2012 12:52:03 GMT
Paula says:
Hi Brass monkey
Although it has been 18 months since your post I thought I would tell you about "Convict Central" -an excellent & free website where most of the ships are listed and you can search them all if you don't know where or when your ancestor was transported. Obviously you need a name, a date helps but only to reduce your time, but the lists are done alphabetically and if you scroll across you get a description of the prisoner too! So with very little information to go on you can find out quite a lot. If you have managed to find out more about the prison records held in Aust I would be grateful of that info as I want to research that in the N.Year -my gut feeling is that my ancestor came back but I am struggling to find out. Passenger lists don't prove my theory.
I have been fascinated by my research so far -what an enjoyable way to learn about our history. I will certainly be asking Santa for this book.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Mar 2013 23:31:26 GMT
If you know where your ancestor came from it may be worth checking with the County Record Office for the area for lists of convicys transported. I know that such a list exists in suffolk but you will have to check on line to see if there is one for your particular area. Good hunting!
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