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  • Michael Howe Bush-Ranger [early detailed account of his goings on and arrest] in – The Military Sketch-book (2 Volumes finely bound) William Maginn – First Edition 1827.

    Michael Howe Bush-Ranger [early detailed account of his goings on and arrest] in – The Military Sketch-book (2 Volumes finely bound) William Maginn – First Edition 1827.

    Fine examples of this rare 2 Volume set of reminiscences, first editions, published by Henry Colburn, London in 1827. Listed in Ferguson 1141a.

    Octavo, 347 pages and 347 pages after preliminaries in each. Bound beautifully in half calf over nicely marbled paper covered boards. Gilt lines, title, decoration and date of publication to each spine. Super copies.

    This scarce collection of “military yarns” includes an account of convict life in Van Diemen’s Land and a first hand account attributed to a “veteran of the Nore mutiny” titled “The Bush-Rangers”. Over 42 pages he recounts the attempts to and final capture of Michael Howe and a few of his bush-ranger comrades. Graphic details of a first failed attempt, a gun battle that saw some of the would be capturers worse off; and then a Hobart sighting and second attempt in curious circumstances etc before he was finally clapped in irons to receive the worst of punishments.

    It has been suggested that the Michael Howe story is based on a pamphlet by Bent … but that pamphlet is so exceedingly scarce we cannot corroborate that view.

    Irish born William Maginn (1794-1847) was a brilliant writer and journalist of the period. He knew and worked with Charles Dickens in the latter’s early days. Fought a duel against a parliamentarian who bashed the editor of a publication in which Maginn had written a damning review of the said parliamentarian’s recently published novel. Like many of his type got into debt, off to prison and died in poverty. Tough days.

    Interesting and various military goings on finishing with some classic Tasmanian history – a first edition set from 1827. Early for any Tasmanian content.



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  • Martin Cash – Life After Bushranging – Maree Ring

    A unusual item, an extended pamphlet really all about Tasmania’s favourite bushranger Martin Cash. Not so much his goings on in his early days of bushranging (although there is a good snippet of that) but more about his time in New Zealand and then later on return to Hobart.

    Written from a sympathetic viewpoint, as often the case with Cash. We are not sure quite why that is the case. For sure he is supposed to have had a soft spot for women and we guess in return women had and still have a soft spot for him.

    However, and it’s a big however … when in NZ he seemed to spend most of his time forming and running brothels (yes plural). In fact in the end he was given the big tip off to leave the country … forcing his return to Tasmania. His illicit activities paid him well and he was able to purchase a smallholding up the back of New Town … he spent most of his leisure time in the pubs of Salamanca … well don’t we all.

    Self published Hobart in 1993. Softcover, stitched, 41 pages with some useful and relevant illustrations. We like the unpretentious writing of the researcher author. A fine copy.

    Martin Cash – the final story – and an interesting one too.

    Postage will be reduced on this item on final billing.


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  • Historical Survey of Northern Tasmania – Low Head to Launceston – McKnight

    Hard to find soft cover and a quality production.

    Published in 1998 at Launceston, effectively self published. 144 pages, perfect bound nicely illustrated.

    Carefully written history with particular emphasis on the earliest reports of Port Dalrymple and the Tamar.

    Naturally starts with Bass and Flinders in 1798; then Freycinet and Faure in 1802. Surveys by William Collins in 1804 along with the observations of Clark and Brown.

    The last third is taken up by the seldomly referenced activities of Lieutenant Governor William Patterson who in 1804 was sent by Governor King to establish a colony at Port Dalrymple on at the behest of Lord Hobart from his desk in London. Patterson’s official and private journals are referred to as well as Mountgarrett’s account and the Paterson led explorations of the North Esk river.

    Northern Tasmania, Port Dalrymple and, in particular, the keen observations of William Patterson.


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  • Guide to Bruny Island History – B Davis

    Guide to Bruny Island History – B Davis

    Described as a Second edition 190 albeit there had been a number of printings of the First the proceeds of which have gone traditionally to erect plaques at important historical sites around Bruny.

    Not exclusively but essentially a history of the post colonial island and a special history its is too.

    Card cover with an early French version of the map as decoration. 40 pages all up nicely illustrated from period photographs – they have come out better than often with this type of “local” production. A good coloured modern map to centre for perspective and bearings.

    The third largest of the nearby Tasmanian islands and one held dear by those that have the life luxury to live there.

    Bruny get the history then the experience … book your ferry today.


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  • [Tasmania] Letters of G.P. Harris 1803-1812 – Barbara Hamilton-Arnold

    Only edition published by the Arden Press, Victoria in 1994. A super copy.

    Softcover, 158 pages, nicely illustrated some in colour from original period paintings. A very nice production despite soft cover.

    George Prideaux Harris was a young lawyer was appointed Deputy Surveyor General of New South Wales. He came out with David Collins on the Calcutta and after the brief abandoned stay at Port Phillip ended up at the establishment of Hobart in Van Diemens’s Land.

    His has a special interest in natural history and was an accomplished artist. He identified new species including the Tasmanian Devil and the Thylacine. He explored the Derwent and Huon Rivers and the lakes areas of the Central Highlands.

    The letters contain real substance and are mostly to his mother and sister back in Exeter, and to his brothers in London.

    George Prideaux Harris we have to thank him for his Letters


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  • Maria Island Convicts – Brian Rieusset – Signed by Author

    Maria Island Convicts – Brian Rieusset – Signed by Author

    First edition signed self published by the author, Hobart 2007.

    Large format, softcover, perfect bound, 63 pages, illustrated.

    A thoroughly researched and well-presented work on the convict of Maris Island, Tasmania 1825-1832.

    The Register of Convicts which contains information on the 1 female and 346 male convicts is held at the Oxfordshire County Records Office in England. Not sure why it stays there of why the solitary female had to endure this rather peculiar imbalance.

    The illustrations are special … we love the one of the Bernacchi house where Louis Bernacchi of Antarctic fame was brought up. The appendices with full useful contents from the register are a historian’s delight.

    Maria Island Convicts – Great work by Rieusset


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