'At its core, The Black War is a story about two peoples who just wanted to be free of each other . . . sooner or later Europeans and Aborigines were bound to clash, but it was Tasmania's unique circumstances that turned this encounter into a 'war of extermination'.'
Between 1825 and 1831 close to 200 Britons and 1000 Aborigines died violently in Tasmania's Black War. It was by far the most intense frontier conflict in Australia's history, yet many Australians know little about it. The Black War takes a unique approach to this historic event, looking chiefly at the experiences and attitudes of those who took part in the conflict. By contrasting the perspectives of colonists and Aborigines, Nicholas Clements takes a deeply human look at the events that led to the shocking violence and tragedy of the war, detailing raw personal accounts that shed light on the tribes, families and individuals involved as they struggled to survive in their turbulent world.
The Black War presents a compelling and challenging view of our early contact history, the legacy of which reverberates strongly to the present day.
About the Author
Dr Nicholas Clements is an honorary research associate in the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania. Born in rural Tasmania in 1982, he now lives in Launceston. Nick is an avid rock climber and bushwalker, whose passion for Tasmania’s landscape and history inspired him to write The Black War.
No, don't skip this and think that's not for me. I promise you, this is as compelling as Australian history gets and makes a really valuable and accessible contribution to an overheated and painful debate. Looking at the conflict between Indigenous inhabitants of Tasmania and the island's white settlers, it documents the attitudes, skirmishes, and battles between two cultures who found themselves tragically ill-equipped for peaceful co-habitation.
Without shrillness, the author tackles the question of 'was it genocide' taking a calm and level headed approach and always, always basing his opinions on historical evidence. Alternating chapters presenting the white and black perspective give a balanced view, supported by newspaper articles, letters and diary entries.