THE SHIP THAT NEVER WAS

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Please enable JavaScript in your web browser. Published: Format: softcover Pages: Quantity 2 available. Trout Waters of Tasmania. Bridget Crack. The Convict Letter Writer. Convict Tattoos - examining and illustrating the tattoos of convict men and women. The Abels Supplement - Tasmania's Mountains over m high.

Ship That Never Was - The - Discover Tasmania

Where to Ride in Tasmania - Biking Routes. They overtake the Frederick, dump her soldiers and captain on the beach and head for Chile. Its astounding they even made it. What happens next is an amazing tale of global politics and anti-heroism. Courtenay has gone to great lengths to set the record straight on James Porter but he tells this tall but true tale with all the verve and tension of a fictional adventure. Jul 12, Noel Magnus rated it it was amazing. I loved this book - a real cover to cover read.

It's part history, part boys own adventure - with many rascals and even more twists and turns. A rollicking, adventurous ride through a piece of little known to me anyway Australian colonial and maritime history. I know it it is often unwise or unkind to judge those of long ago by today's standards and morals, but to my way of thinking, having read this book, Port Arthur should be renamed, and George Arthur should be stripped of any remaining fame o I loved this book - a real cover to cover read.

I know it it is often unwise or unkind to judge those of long ago by today's standards and morals, but to my way of thinking, having read this book, Port Arthur should be renamed, and George Arthur should be stripped of any remaining fame or glory, as well as being convicted of hundreds perhaps thousands? Congratulations Adam Courtenay - can't wait for the next book! Feb 21, Janita Knowles rated it really liked it. Thank goodness a story as astonishing as this, has been preserved via this worthy book. What a tragedy if the tale of these men was lost or overlooked.

As with most extensively researched and documented histories, a clear and reflective perspective is only arrived at in the final chapters and Afterword. The author did a wonderful job of making some kind of sense of who was the person, James Porter and what drove him to seemingly never be willing to 'play the game'. I do wish I had read this book Thank goodness a story as astonishing as this, has been preserved via this worthy book. I had read enough For the Term of His Natural Life, by Marcus Clarke to understand a lot of the history of this part of Tasmania, but this book adds so much depth and insight that the experience of visiting Tasmania, and especially the South West would have been even more enhanced.

Thank you so much to all those involved in the writing and research for this book because it is one of those stories that is 1, times much stranger than fiction.

The Great Escape: start reading The Ship That Never Was by Adam Courtenay

Feb 17, Samantha Battams rated it really liked it. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - even though I knew the story as I saw the play in Strahan just after it started, when I was living in Tasmania for five years 93 to This book is a very easy read and I read it quickly. It inspired me to read 'The Botanist's Daughter' when I picked it up as they are also both partly set in Chile in 19thC. I was fascinated to hear that Wally Shiers who was a mechanic on the first UK-Australia flight in was the grandchild of the Shiers who was one Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - even though I knew the story as I saw the play in Strahan just after it started, when I was living in Tasmania for five years 93 to I was fascinated to hear that Wally Shiers who was a mechanic on the first UK-Australia flight in was the grandchild of the Shiers who was one of the convict escapees to Chile Feb 04, Judy rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , history.

It is hard to believe that this actually happened - that these men survived the horrors of convict life in Australia of the s - s. Our history really is filled with amazing stories of ordinary and not so ordinary people. At different times, I looked on James Porter as a hard-done-by victim of the system, as a real larrikin, as a cruel human being, as a clever sailor and ship builder, as uncaring.

But considering his circumstances, he probably had every right to react in these ways. This It is hard to believe that this actually happened - that these men survived the horrors of convict life in Australia of the s - s. This is a well researched book with great detail of real people and places. There must be many more examples of individual convicts and free settlers who led interesting lives that add to our Australian history.

Feb 05, Natalie S rated it really liked it. James Porter was a convict who once had two choices: a toe the line and eventually be released or b escape prison. James Porter was — among other things — a thief, a convict, an opportunist and a cunning manipulator. View 2 comments.

The story was somewhat interesting based on true events but I just found the book hard work. I understand why these would be important to some people, but they weren't what was advertised I like my "entertaining and rollicking" stories to be much more joyful. Review to come on my blog but an intriguing story and part of Australian history I had not previously known about, amongst many others, and highlighted many gaps in convict history that are sometimes left out of lessons.

Excellent true sort of convict escape. Well researched and documented story. Loved it. This is a fascinating account of a little known episode in Australian colonial history. Convict James Porter and nine others managed to steal a newly built ship and sail it all the way to South America in one of the most daring and audacious escapes in convict history.

It is amazing this story isn't better known given that it was front page news at the time it happened. But this book isn't just the story of a daring escape, it's a look at the conditions of the convicts, the inhumane treatment th This is a fascinating account of a little known episode in Australian colonial history. But this book isn't just the story of a daring escape, it's a look at the conditions of the convicts, the inhumane treatment they endured everyday, the social attitudes of the time, and the political pressures on governors, guards and politicians that allowed that treatment to go on for far too long.

The actual escape is really only a small part of this book - Courtenay builds a very detailed picture of Porter, his fellow escapees, and the world they inhabited. Convicts were essentially slave labour in the young colony of Tasmania and, with a seemingly endless supply from England, there was no pressing reason to treat them kindly. Under the auspices of Governor George Arthur a troublesome convict was moved further and further down the work ladder until they ended up at Macquarie Harbour.

Macquarie Harbour might as well have been at the ends of the earth - on the isolated west coast of Tasmania, surrounded by impenetrably dense bush, for the convicts there was no escape from the brutal conditions, lashings, forced labour and lack of food. When Macquarie Harbour was shut down the prisoners were moved to the new penal facility of Port Arthur, but Porter and his friends were among the last to leave as the new ship they were building needed a bit more time to finish.

This gave them the opportunity for their audacious and possibly suicidal escape attempt: To take the ship. The "Frederick" wasn't built for the open ocean, she was meant to hug the coast, but Porter and nine others only half of them experienced seamen , using only dead reckoning, managed to take her halfway around the world to the coast of Chile. The story is pieced together from Porter's own diaries, newspaper accounts, court documents and official government paperwork. Courtenay has noted where the accounts differ Porter seems a bit prone to a bit of self-aggrandising but overall this story comes together very smoothly and is easy to follow.

Courtenay takes his time getting to the actual escape, the picture he builds of colonial and convict life in Van Diemen's Land is bleak and brutal. I occasionally wanted him to hurry up and just get to the crux of the story but for someone more interested than I in the minutiae of Tasmanian history all that detail will be fascinating. Highly recommended for lovers of Australian history who want a bit of adventure. As it says in the afterward: be warned because "this little bastard will get under your skin. And while Porter was undoubtedly a criminal he did indeed get under my skin and I found myself rooting for him as the story unfolded.

Based on the description of the book I expected the entirety to revolve around James Porter and his fellow convicts attemp As it says in the afterward: be warned because "this little bastard will get under your skin. Based on the description of the book I expected the entirety to revolve around James Porter and his fellow convicts attempting to escape from Macquarie Harbor, but that actually occurs about a third of the way through the book.

With the arrival of the clipper ships, and favourable winds, the journey from England could be done in a little over half this time. A lively history of the 'First Fleet' which took convicts from Britain to Australia in ; Sydney's early years as 'an open-air prison'; and the colonisation of New South Wales. The story of modern Australia begins in 18th-century Britain, where people were hanged for petty offences but crime was rife and the gaols were bursting.

From this situation was born the Sydney experiment, with criminals perceived to be damaging British society transported to Sydney, an 'open air prison with walls 14, miles thick'.

Eleven ships were dispatched in and arrived in Australia after eight hellish months at sea. Tom Keneally describes the first four years of the 'thief colony' and how, despite the escapes, the floggings, the murders and the rebellions, it survived against the odds to create a culture which would never have been tolerated in its homeland but which, in Australia, became part of the identity of a new and audacious nation. Australia's best-selling nonfiction author of all time. Douglas Mawson, born in and knighted in , was Australia's greatest Antarctic explorer.

On 2 December , he led an expedition from Hobart to explore the virgin frozen coastline below, miles of which had never felt the tread of a human foot.

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One of the most popular accounts by an Australian veteran of WWI - written entirely from the private soldier's point of view. From sailor to legend - the story of Captain James Cook, one of the greatest maritime explorers of all time. Rob Mundle introduces us to an unlikely sailor in a teenage Cook, who through the combination of hard-won skills as a seafarer, the talents of a self-taught navigator and surveyor, and an exceptional ability to lead and care for his men, climbed the ranks of the Royal Navy to achieve legendary status among all who sailed and mapped the world.

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Tench, a humble captain-lieutenant of the marines, arrived on the First Fleet, and with his characteristic understanding, humanity, and eye for detail, recorded the first four years of European settlement. The greatest escape story of Australian colonial history by the son of Australia's best-loved storyteller. In , cockney sailor and chancer James Porter was convicted of stealing a stack of beaver furs and transported halfway around the world to Van Diemen's Land.

After several escape attempts from the notorious penal colony, Porter, who told authorities he was a 'beer-machine maker', was sent to Sarah Island, known in Van Diemen's Land as hell on earth. Many had tried to escape Sarah Island; few had succeeded. But when Governor George Arthur announced that the place would be closed and its prisoners moved to the new penal station of Port Arthur, Porter, along with a motley crew of other prisoners, pulled off an audacious escape.

Wresting control of the ship they'd been building to transport them to their fresh hell, the escapees instead sailed all the way to Chile. What happened next is stranger than fiction, a fitting outcome for this true-life picaresque tale. The Ship That Never Was is the entertaining and rollicking story of what is surely the greatest escape in Australian colonial history. James Porter, whose memoirs were the inspiration for Marcus Clarke's For the Term of His Natural Life , is an original Australian larrikin whose ingenuity, gift of the gab and refusal to buckle under authority make him an irresistible antihero who deserves a place in our history.

I watched the Ship that never was play in Strahan Tasmania over 10 years ago and have always recommended it to friends when they are in Tasmania. This book captured the story perfectly and went into the history of the characters as well.


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A fantastic story and one for anyone into the convict history. A clever tale that gives insights into the harsh living conditions of the convicts as they are transported and warehouses in substand ships to places all over the world and the hypocrisy of the British ruling class.

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