Richard Flanagan SMH, Feb 16:
Boyce’s compelling account of the bushranger Michael Howe, whose authority equalled that of the early Van Diemens Land governors, is a potent reminder of how much the vaunted Australian traditions of revolt had Tasmanian origins. Ned Kelly’s father was a Van Diemonian convict, and the Jerilderie Letter has sections that strongly echo the writings of Frank the Poet, the Van Diemonian convict bard whose odes to liberty were the first writings to be banned in Australia.
How good it feels to read a history that is not politics, but an act of enquiry applying intellect, empathy and a fresh curiosity. We have possibilities in Australia with our unique land, with our indigenous people, with our own particular response to our world, that suggest our future might still be worth dreaming. Read more here