Book: A Handful of Destiny by Tony Nashcategories: Book, Early Australian History, Criminal Transportation, 18th Century Law, Love in Adversity, The First Fleet, Romance, Friendship, Early Aborigine Life, The Outback, Life and Death, Inhumanity, Revenge
Tony Nashabout this book: The prisons were full to overflowing, and the overflow was housed in prison hulks on the south coast - stinking, rat-infested hell-on-earth, rotting ships, full of rotting men. The Government found a solution of sorts: send the criminals to the other side of the world. The First Fleet was a conglomeration of ships seriously unfit for such a journey, manned by men who had never sailed to those strange waters; some of them far worse criminals than those they were transporting; cruel, sadistic monsters who regarded the prisoners in their charge as easily expendable. They had been paid for each man, woman and child, but that payment was for the transport - not to ensure that they arrived, or if they did, in what condition. Incarcerated on one of those ships, Thomas Nash and his wife, Martha, innocent, upright citizens falsely accused by a lord who wanted their land, suffer unimaginably, but that suffering is a mere bagatelle compared to that which awaits them in that far off country that would one day become Australia.
The research for this book took far longer than the writing. Every facet of the history is accurate, including the 18th Century aborigine language of the indigenous people of that area of the continent, and I have tried my very best to take the reader deeply into the lives of the unfortunate convicts sent to New Holland. The book was inspired by a true fact that I found while researching my family history. Two of my ancestors - brothers - farmed at Hainford Hall in Norfolk, and one of them stole all the money and sailed off to America, leaving his brother virtually destitute. That act I have used as the initial impetus for the novel. The rest, as they say, is pure fiction.
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Other books by Tony Nash
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• Book Review: Murder on Tiptoes by Tony Nash|
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