|12-21-2011, 11:45 PM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2011
O'Reilly, John Boyle: Moondyne. v1. 22 December 2011
John Boyle O'Reilly was a 19th century Irish rebel or "Fenian" convicted by the British and sent to the then Penal Colony of Western Australia on the last ever convict ship, the Hougomont. He worked on a road gang in the Vasse district, and subsequently engineered his escape. In Boston he became a greatly respected journalist and writer.
This book is clearly based on his own experiences, but is entirely fiction. The title Moondyne comes from a real, near-legendary figure in Western Australian convict history, Moondyne Joe, real name Joseph Bolitho Johns, who achieved fame by a series of daring escapes. There is no resemblance between the Moondyne Joe of the novel and the real one; just the name.The real Moondyne eventually served out his time, and is said to have died in the late 1930s in the Sunset Home in Dalkeith.
The story incorporates a lengthy plea for prison reform.
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