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Great Convict Stories : Dramatic and moving tales from Australia's brutal early years - Graham Seal

Great Convict Stories

Dramatic and moving tales from Australia's brutal early years

Paperback Published: 22nd November 2017
ISBN: 9781760297787
Number Of Pages: 304

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Graham Seal brings to life the brutal Australian convict transportation system with stories of notorious criminals, colourful characters, and harsh punishments. There were also happy endings for the men and women for whom transportation was an opportunity to start afresh in a new land.

'Graham Seal has the knack of the storyteller'
Warren Fahey AM

Graham Seal takes us back to Australia's ignominious beginnings, when a hungry child could be transported to the other side of the globe for the theft of a handkerchief.

It was a time when men were flogged till they bled for a minor misdemeanour, or forced to walk the treadmill for hours. Teams in iron chains carved roads through sandstone cliffs with hand picks, and men could select wives from a line up at the Female Factory. From the notorious prison regimes at Norfolk Island, Port Arthur and Macquarie Harbour came chilling accounts of cruelty, murder and even cannibalism.

Despite the often harsh conditions, many convicts served their prison terms and built successful lives for themselves and their families. With a cast of colourful characters from around the country--the real Artful Dodger, intrepid bushrangers like Martin Cash and Moondyne Joe, and the legendary nurse Margaret Catchpole--Great Convict Stories offers a fascinating insight into life in Australia's first decades.

About the Author

Graham Seal is Professor of Folklore at Curtin University, and a leading expert on Australian cultural history. He is the bestselling author of Great Australian Stories, Great Anzac Stories, Larrikins, Bush Tales and Other Great Australian Stories, The Savage Shore and Great Australian Journeys.

Industry Reviews

"Graham Seal has the knack of the storyteller." --Warren Fahey AM

A Good Read


The book was really engaging. There were amusing stories that made me laugh out loud, as well as sad ones. The information was also very well researched and you could tell is was all historically correct by the amount of references and resources used.



A worthwhile step back


This is a great book and I loved every detail of it. I have a very great interest in Australia's past, particularly its convict history but even for someone who doesn't share that same interest but picks up a copy and starts to read it will, I am sure, make a significant impact.

Uralla NSW


Great read,


Lens it to friends - they love it.

New South Wales Australia



5.0 3


Prologue: Lashland


1. Unpromising Beginnings

2. Perilous Voyages

3. The Convict Underworld

4. The System

5. Pain and Suffering

6. Troublemakers

7. Places of Condemnation

8. Desperate Escapes

9. The Felonry

10. A Convict Stain



Notes and Sources

Further Reading


ISBN: 9781760297787
ISBN-10: 176029778X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 22nd November 2017
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.41