Book: White Spirit (A novel based on a true story) by James & Lance Morcancategories: Book, Adventure, History, Action-Adventure, John Graham, Australia, Australian History, Convict Tales, Aborigines, Indigenous Australians, Epic Fiction, Historical Fiction
Lance Morcanabout this book: Irish convict John Graham's story is not well known – not even in Australia where this remarkable tale takes place. That's surprising, to us at least, because John's adventures in the wilds of an untamed Australia must surely rank with the most incredible true-life tales of survival. Not only Down Under, in Australia, but anywhere in the world.
Though White Spirit is first and foremost a novel and therefore a work of fiction, many of the adventures described herein happened – exactly as related in some cases, and with some embellishments for drama's sake in others. We know this because we sourced (copies of) documents written in John's own hand. These proved a valuable research aid and are recommended reading for those who resonate with our novel.
Our story begins at the notorious Moreton Bay penal settlement on Australia's east coast. To say Moreton Bay was hell on earth would be an understatement. Convicts unlucky to end up there committed suicide rather than serve out their sentences, and many committed suicide rather than serve out their sentences. Little wonder that John Graham decided to chance his arm and escape into the wilds.
Having lived in the Moreton Bay region almost six years, and having regularly visited many of the very places John trekked through, we can only marvel at his bravery, endurance, fortitude and gumption. How he could survive alone in that unforgiving environment (after escaping the penal settlement) beggars belief; and how he not only survived but flourished living with the Aborigines who took him in we can't begin to imagine. Talk about the luck o' the Irish!
White Spirit is much more than a survival tale, however. It is also a love story, and it reveals the two great loves in John's life – one the beautiful daughter of an English army officer, the other a beguiling indigenous woman. The latter identifies the escaped convict as her husband returned from the dead – her white spirit.
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