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The Great Shame

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The eagerly-awaited paperback of an incredible work of history, h social injustice and survival '...a grandly conceived and prodigiously researched homage to his Irish forebears' The Age '... the range and coverage of this material is impressive ... his zest is infectious' Sydney Morning Herald '... engaging and meticulously compiled' Australian Financial Review In the nineteenth century, the Irish population was halved. The Great Shame is Thomas Keneally's astonishing work of non-fiction which traces the three causes of this depletion: the famine; the emigrations; and the transportations to Australia. Based on unique research among little-used sources, this masterly book traces eighty years of Irish history, told through the intimate lens of political prisoners - some of them Keneally's ancestors who served time as convicts in Australia. Beginning with Hugh Larkin, a twenty-four-year-old 'Ribbonman' transported for life in 1834, The Great Shame tells of the Ireland these prisoners came from and the Australia they encountered. It brings us close to Irish women such as Esther, wife of Larkin, and the future Lady Wilde, mother of Oscar, friend and collaborator of notable Irish prisoners. But we also encounter the 'Famale Factory' and the Irish convict women who married humble Protestant criminals, and we learn of the often desperate survival methods of 'transportation-widowed' women left in Ireland. Throughout the nineteenth century, Australian and American organisations participated in the extraor Please click here to ask a question
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  • Store location: Auckland City, Auckland, NZ

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