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The Luck of the Irish : How a Shipload of Convicts Survived the Wreck of the Hive to Make a New Life in Australia - Babette Smith

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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Published: 1st July 2014
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Published: 1st July 2014
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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 longlasting influence of the Irish convicts on our national character.

The luck of the Irish was chronic bad luck, as their sad history attests. That's how it looked for 250 Irish convicts when their ship, the Hive, sank ignominiously off the NSW coast in 1835. Miraculously all survived, guided to safety by local Aboriginal people.

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 the Hive, 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 DH Lawrence: 'Nobody felt better than anybody else, or higher.'

The Luck of the Irish is a fascinating portrait of colonial life in the mid-19th century, which reveals how the Irish helped lay the foundations of the Australia we know today.

'Deeply researched and vividly written, it's a terrific new and up-to-date account of the convict experience, mainly from the bottom up' - Emeritus Professor Alan Atkinson FAHA, University of Sydney

'Brings the convict era to life through personal stories and insightful analysis.' - Lindsay Tanner

About the Author

Babette Smith is one of Australia's most respected experts on convict history and author of the bestselling Cargo of Women and Australia's Birthstain.

'Deeply researched and vividly written, it's a terrific new and up-to-date account of the convict experience, mainly from the bottom up' - Emeritus Professor Alan Atkinson FAHA, University of Sydney. 'Brings the convict era to life through personal stories and insightful analysis.' - Lindsay Tanner

Map..Introduction..1 Beached..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..Acknowledgements..Select Bibliography..Notes..Index

ISBN: 9781742378121
ISBN-10: 1742378129
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 312
Published: 1st July 2014
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3
Edition Number: 1