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The Narrative of Deserter Burman

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9780994310866
Author(s): Greg Pyers
Format: Paperback
Year: 2015
Publisher: Satalyte Publishing
Dimensions: 152 x 229 x 14 (w x l x h)
Pages: 252

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On Sunday June 30 1867, three young boys went missing in bushland surrounding the Australian goldmining town of Daylesford. The ensuing search would involve the whole community. Local businesses were closed for days. A large reward was offered by the Government and matched by the local borough. But all efforts came to nought. Worst fears were confirmed on September 14 when the boys' bodies were discovered in the hollow bole of a forest tree. A sad and significant episode it was, yet only part of the compelling story of Benjamin Burman, the father of one of the boys and the central character of this novel. D begins in Canada, in the winter of 1834, when Private Benjamin Burman is on the run to America. But the British Army does not suffer deserters. It hunts down their man, tries, shackles and imprisons him in a creaking hulk on Portsmouth Harbour, then banishes him to Van Diemen's Land. There he is assigned as gentleman's servant to George Frankland, surveyor-general (and host to Charles Darwin on his visit to Hobart Town), and ultimately granted a pardon.
Yet though Benjamin's sentence is over, his punishment is not done, for he is forever to be reminded of his disgrace by a thick black tattoo. It takes the biggest tragedy of his life to set him free. (Today, Benjamin Burman lies in an unmarked grave beneath an expanse of lank grass at Daylesford cemetery, some forty metres from the grave of the three lost boys).

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