In Tasmania
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In Tasmania

by Nicholas Shakespeare
     
 

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An insightful and exquisitely observant work exploring one of the world’s most distant, mythic—and misunderstood—lands.
The settlement of Tasmania by Europeans began two hundred years ago. Nicholas Shakespeare first went there, having heard of the island’s exceptional beauty, because it was famously remote. He soon decided that this was

Overview

An insightful and exquisitely observant work exploring one of the world’s most distant, mythic—and misunderstood—lands.
The settlement of Tasmania by Europeans began two hundred years ago. Nicholas Shakespeare first went there, having heard of the island’s exceptional beauty, because it was famously remote. He soon decided that this was where he wanted to live. Only later did he discover a cache of letters written by an ancestor as corrupt as he was colorful: Anthony Fenn Kemp, the so-called Father of Tasmania. On his mother’s side, too, Shakespeare found he had unknown Tasmanian relations; a pair of spinsters who had never left their farm except once, in 1947, to buy shoes. Their journal recounted a saga beginning in Northern England in the 1890s with a dashing but profligate ancestor who, having played tennis with the Kaiser, ended his life in disgrace in the Tasmanian bush. In this fascinating history of two turbulent centuries in an apparently idyllic place, Shakespeare effortlessly weaves the history of the island with his multiple stories, a cast of unlikely characters from Errol Flynn to the King of Iceland, a village full of Chatwins, and, inevitably, a family of Shakespeares.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Novelist Shakespeare (The Vision of Elena Silves) has written a fascinating book about his adopted home, the little-known island of Tasmania, located off the southeast coast of Australia. He follows the history of his ancestor, the scoundrel Anthony Kemp (often called the "Father of Tasmania"), who played a large part in Tasmania's early colonization. Along the way, he also explores the history and treatment of Tasmanian Aboriginals, the convict ships and the "King of Iceland," the possibly extinct Tasmanian tiger, muttonbirds, Merle Oberon (Tasmanian or not), and the unique environment and challenges of this isolated land. As Shakespeare describes it, Tasmania is a secret and rarely visited place that has been both Elysium and Hades. As a history and an introduction to the country, this book is an irresistible account of a mysterious and beautiful land. Highly recommended. Melissa Stearns, Franklin Pierce Coll. Lib., Rindge, NH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585677207
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
06/28/2005
Pages:
374
Sales rank:
1,272,820
Product dimensions:
6.32(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.24(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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