The Last Convict by Anthony Hill

Published: 2021 Penguin Setting: Fremantle, Western Australia Genre: Historical fiction
1. First lines. 2. Cover Penguin 3. Fremantle Prison the steel hinge of an isolation with an arrow mark that was put on all work done by convicts in WA [CC BY 2.5 au] Image by Gnangarra via Wikimedia 4. Glasses book [Public Domain] Image by Georgi Dyulgerov via Pixabay
    • Samuel Speed was the last surviving convict transported to Western Australia in 1866. This is an imaginative retelling of his life.
    • “And with so much choice available, any single girls were unlikely to select a small, squinting jobbing gardener and expiree of few means as an outstanding prospect for a spouse.”
    • “In the society of the Australian colonies, Aborigines generally were considered inferior even to convicts, who might look down upon them with hostility and contempt at worst, giving vent to their own mistreatment – or with indifference at best, like another form of wildlife to be endured.”
    • The Unseen Librarian: The Last Convict is another clever and meticulously researched Australian historical fiction novel from Anthony Hill that provides the reader with a powerful and compelling window into the life of an interesting figure from history.  Loaded with Hill’s usual intense levels of fascinating historical detail, I had a lot of fun reading The Last Convict. “
    • Conjured from the author’s imagination using scant historical details, this is a skillful recreation of the life and times of Samuel Speed. Due to the interweaving of historical fact and realistic dialogue, a believable portrait has been created. Samuel’s one-liner thoughts throughout the story add variety to the writing style. There is a wealth of information in the appendices, including the full article that appeared in the Perth Mirror in 1938, a photograph of Samuel Speed, a timeline of his life, and detailed chapter notes. Recommended for those interested in Australian history.

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