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The Broad Arrow

Being Passages from the History of Maida Gwynnham, a Lifer

Oline Keese Jenna Mead



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Sydney University Press
01 February 2019
Caroline Leakey, writing as Oline Keese, published her first and only novel, The Broad Arrow, in 1859. It tells the story of Maida Gwynnham, a young middleclass woman lured into committing a forgery by her deceitful lover, Captain Norwell, and then wrongly convicted of infanticide. The novel's title describes the arrow that was stamped onto government property, including the clothes worn by convicts - a symbol of shame and incarceration. With its 'fallen woman' protagonist, its gothic undertones and its exploration of the social and moral implications of the penal system, this little-known novel gives an insight into a significant chapter of Australian history from a uniquely female perspective.

In this new critical edition, editor Jenna Mead restores material that was cut for a radically abridged version in 1886, restoring for the first time in over a century the complete original text of Leakey's important work.
Edited by:  
Imprint:   Sydney University Press
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 250mm,  Width: 176mm, 
Weight:   400g
ISBN:   9781920899745
ISBN 10:   192089974X
Series:   Australian Classics Library
Pages:   444
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Reviews for The Broad Arrow: Being Passages from the History of Maida Gwynnham, a Lifer

'The Broad Arrow is much more than a romantic story ... the main Van Diemen's Land part is absorbing. Not only do we become caught up in Maida's story, even if we find her exasperating; but every page tells the reader something about the colony. This is an important book for the historian and for anyone interested in nineteenth century Tasmania.' -- Alison Alexander * Papers and Proceedings: Tasmanian Historical Research Association *

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