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May. 27th, 2002

the fatal shore continues...

chapter eleven: to plough van diemen's land.

though my comments will be short, this is perhaps the longest chapter in the book. it's also got very little use for me. it's about the work done in tasmania, george arthur, port phillip and the killing of the aboriginal population down there.

it is, as you might guess, of very little use to me. but ah, such is life.

chapter twelve: metastasis.

here we have a chapter than takes on colony life from 1815, which is basically when the english decided to really start sending criminals, and wanted for botany bay to have a really awful image associated with it. which it got by sending a progression of unimaginative, religious, soldier's soldier loyal to london. after macquarie, the general niceness towards convicts stopped: norfolk island was turned into the horror of a prison, newcastle was another horror, this time with the added bonus of the local aborigines bringing you back if you escaped, because the authorities had made sure to be on good terms with them. sydney, australia, became the true jail that it was intended to be when arthur phillip set out.

chapter thirteen: norfolk island.

norfolk island. the second uprising among convicts happened here, and it was a poorly organised affair that resulted in the regiment torturing the convicts for months afterwards. apparently, according to hughes, one of their favourite games was to get a prisoner's bound wrists, put a stick between the binds and twist it until blood spurted out of their fingers.

nasty, huh?

norfolk island was meant to inspire fear beyond all else, and it was run by one harsher man after another. convicts wished for death. a horrible place, but it was here, that hughes suggests that the first seeds of the stopping of transportation began, with priests witnessing the conditions that convicts were enduring, and the harsh barbarians that the soldiers were becoming.

not long left in this book. things slowed down over the weekend as i've a bit of other work to do at the moment. but still, working forward, alla that.