Tasmanian gothic

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  • Published 20130305
  • ISBN: 9781922079961
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

SOME DARK SECRETS run so deep that they slip from view. The hole left in our collective conscience is gradually plugged, with shallow distractions and awkward half-truths. Questions, if uttered, pass unheard. An uneasy and enduring silence prevails.

So it has been in Tasmania since the end of our war. This was the first and only properly declared war fought by the British on Australian soil. Initiated by Governor George Arthur on 1 November 1828, it was waged against an enemy once dismissed as a meagre scattering of ‘savage crows’. But the first Tasmanians were an enemy so committed to driving the settlers from their ancestral lands that neither ad hoc massacres on a lawless frontier, nor the ravages of disease that swept ahead of muskets and poisoned flour seemed capable of quelling their determination. As their numbers fell, Aboriginal resolve seemed to increase. They simply could not give up their land.

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About the author

Greg Lehman

Greg Lehman is a Visiting Indigenous Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.He is currently researching the work...

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