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The Convict Valley: The Bloody Struggle on Australia's Early Frontier

Mark Dunn

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Allen & Unwin
09 July 2020
History; Australasian & Pacific history; Indigenous peoples
In 1790, five convicts escaped Sydney by boat and were swept ashore near present-day Newcastle. They were taken in by the Worimi people, given Aboriginal names and started families. Thus began a long and at times dramatic series of encounters between Aboriginal people and convicts in the second penal settlement in Australia.

The fertile valley of the Hunter River was the first area outside the Sydney basin explored by the British, and it became one of the largest penal settlements. Today manicured lawns and prosperous vineyards hide the struggle, violence and toil of the thousands of convicts who laid its foundations. The Convict Valley uncovers this rich colonial past, as well as the story of the original Aboriginal landholders. While there were friendships and alliances in the early years, in the later scramble for land in the 1820s - as the Valley was opened to free settlers - tensions rose and bloodshed ensued.

With fascinating stories about convicts, white settlers and the Aboriginal inhabitants that have long been forgotten, The Convict Valley is a new Australian history classic.

'Deeply researched and beautifully written.' Grace Karskens 'Interweaving the Aboriginal, convict and mining pasts of the Hunter Valley, gifted storyteller Dunn reveals the missing and misunderstood complexities of these histories.' Professor John Maynard, The University of Newcastle 'In this groundbreaking book, Mark Dunn shows how the Hunter Valley became the heartland of convict Australia.' Professor Lyndall Ryan, author of Tasmanian Aborigines
By:   Mark Dunn
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   410g
ISBN:   9781760528645
ISBN 10:   1760528641
Pages:   304
Publication Date:   09 July 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mark Dunn is a public historian and former chair of the Professional Historians Association of NSW and ACT. He is descended from convicts who settled in the Hunter, and he has spent two decades investigating the history, heritage and archaeology of the region.

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