Ralph Rashleigh


An account of a penal exile – from the busy streets of the London underworld, to the harsh realities of the penal colony of New South Wales. Here, in horrifying detail, are the English prison hulks; the crowded hell of the transport vessels; the cruelty of the gaolers and of the overseers at the agricultural settlement at Emu Plains; the privations of the early settlers; brushes with marauding bushrangers and confrontations with tribes of ‘murderous blacks’. What makes this colourful and dramatic story unique, and gives it its important place among novels of its time, is that ‘Ralph Rashleigh’ was, in fact, the author of the original manuscript from which this book is taken – a convict, later identified as James Tucker, transported to Botany Bay in 1827. The author’s own experiences of convict life.


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