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Crime of the True Variety

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  • Joseph Mason – assigned Convict 1831-1837 – Edited by Kent and Townsend.

    Joseph Mason – assigned Convict 1831-1837 – Edited by Kent and Townsend.

    Published by the Melbourne University Press, a fine copy of the first edition 1996. Octavo, 182 pages with end paper maps. Gift inscription on half title otherwise clean as a whistle.

    Joseph Mason was transported to New South Wales, one of many who protested against the mechanisation of agriculture … threshing machines.

    The large part of this book is his Memoir of goings on a wonderful insight into the Colony … referencing encounters with aboriginal people and good descriptions of convict “assignments” around Sydney, Parramatta and Campbelltown and explorations along the Nepean River.

    Good introductory chapters with contributions from David Kent as well as the industrious editors.

    One of the more thorough and thoughtful convict accounts


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  • A Matter of Speculation [Financial Scandel in 1815] – The Case Against Lord Cochrane – Henry Cecil – First edition 1965

    A Matter of Speculation [Financial Scandel in 1815] – The Case Against Lord Cochrane – Henry Cecil – First edition 1965

    It’s the year before Waterloo, 1815 and a fine plot is put into effect to manipulate the London Financial Market – a false report is made in grand style that Napoleon has been defeated … indeed dismembered. The idea is to cause a run on the stocks taking quick and sizeable profits.

    Lord Cochrane, yet to carry out his boldest endeavours, fighting the Spanish and Portuguese in South America, makes a handsome profit buying and selling large holdings before settlement is required at the Broker. It’s all rather complicated … but is Cochrane personally involved in all the shenanigans?

    The book is very cleverly written, presenting the background, evidence from the Courts, without revealing the outcome. We will not either.

    Published by Hutchinson, London in 1965. Octavo, 208 pages, ownership signature on pastedown, otherwise a fine copy.

    Cochrane one smart cookie but was he guilty?


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  • Handbook of Forensic Science [Authentic] – Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] – 1975

    Handbook of Forensic Science [Authentic] – Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI] – 1975

    A genuine article .. for some reason often in facsimile. An original handbook produced by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Laboratory, Washington. A revised edition published in August 1975.

    Card covered copied typescript document. Stapled, 133 pages (28cm by 22cm), design to front, name on title. A little worn but nice to have an authentic one as suggested.

    Everything you need to know about evidence … how to collect it, preserve it, package it etc. And what a big world crime and forensics is … we have anthropological (bits of people etc); nuclear; carbon dating; bank notes and of course bullets. An interesting array of information that could come in useful one day … great background for a budding crime writer.

    FBI Forensics about the time of Starsky and Hutch.


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  • Gold Escort [The Victorian Gold Fields to Adelaide] – L. J. Blake.

    Gold Escort [The Victorian Gold Fields to Adelaide] – L. J. Blake.

    First edition published by The Hawthorn Press, Melbourne in 1971. Large octavo, 228 pages, illustrated with good end paper maps. Dust jacket a little rubbed otherwise a very good copy.

    The Gold discoveries in Victoria in the 1850’s caused a massive shortage of labour in South Australia with considerable economic effect. Alexander Tolmer who was the South Australian police Commissioner cam up with the idea of providing an armed escort service to bring gold back to Adelaide … it worked. A super story .. Tolmer a quick tempered man made many enemies due to the success of this initiative.

    Money to made in gold … the moving of it


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  • “Battler’s” Tales of Early Rockhampton – Grant Pattison

    “Battler’s” Tales of Early Rockhampton – Grant Pattison

    A very scarce first edition of this book about goings on in and around Rockhampton, Queensland.

    Self published by the author printed by Fraser & Jenkinson, Melbourne in 1939. Octavo, 152 pages, illustrated, bound in original cloth covered boards. This book appears prone to spine fading and deterioration and this one is no exception, the spine has been re-enforced with bindings tape and the board edges are rubbed heavily … maybe insect nibble. Having said that a pretty clean and bright copy internally so still a good copy.

    The author was a well known local identity and journalist in Queensland. The book is et out in 39 chapters dealing with a particular story that no doubt Pattison had covered in the press before.

    Starts with the “Birth of Rockhampton” … Gracemere Pioneers .. Canoona Rush … Rockhampton in the Sixties [1860’s] .. Pioneers of Fitzroy … Mr Booze .. Horse Dealers … Scrub Riders … Crimes Committed … The First Steeplechase … Murder of Fanny Briggs … Murder of Halligan … Horse thieves and Cattle Rustlers .. Mount Morgan [Gold] … etc etc.

    The author notes “ I regret I have to delete a good deal of the history of Mount Morgan and the Rape of William Pattison’s Estate. This has been done on legal advice to save the printer anxiety, and I regret I am not strong enough financially to contest any action the descendants of the wolves who did not bother to wear sheep’s clothing may be inclined to take.”

    Historical Curiosities – Early Rockhampton.


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  • Through Wildest Papua – Jack Hides 1937

    Through Wildest Papua – Jack Hides 1937

    Published by Blackie, London and Glasgow in 1937 part of the Travel Library Series. Not sure what sort of “’travel” they were envisaging you would have to be pretty tough. Published in the USA under a different title “Savage Patrol”.

    Octavo, 165 pages, end paper maps, very good illustrations throughout from period photographs. Presume previous ownership name cut from free endpaper corner, some spots to page edges otherwise a very good copy of a getting scarce and important New Guinea account.

    With an introduction by Sir Hubert Murray a great supporter of the Port Moresby born Hides. On patrol Jack Hides describes in vivid detail the raid on Lakekamu and the patrol to Loloipa west of Mount Nelson at the source of the Alabule River. Stunning photographs as suggested.

    Jack Hides, Voyager Hero, on Patrol deep into New Guinea


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