Kirkus Star


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This team is at its best when given a generous slice of half forgotten history, and carts blanche to build a story into and around the facts. They have a grand sense of pace, of character, of selection of dramatic incidents. This time they have taken the almost incredible story of England's 18th century penal colony, New South Wales, Australia, and they have told the story of Hugh Tallant, American loyalist, who fell foul of the law when circumstances demanded quick money to get back to Canada, and he joined forces with a highwayman whose luck deserted him. Tom Oskley, highwayman and a charmer, Mrs. Garth, who gave them lodging, and a motley collection of petty thieves, political prisoners, smugglers, and their innocent families, skimmed from the troubled pool of Newgets Prison for the first fleet of colonists. The voyage out, the beginnings of colonisation in Sydney, Botany Bay, and a little cove beyond; then the second convict ships -- and the aftermath. Escape, a perilous voyage to the Dutch East Indies -- and home again, to live in danger of recognition. It is a thrilling and absorbing tale, superbly wrought. Sure of a big sale and rental.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 1941
Publisher: Little, Brown