November 17th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY An election-winning policy: a development bank for Australia

VICTORIAN ELECTION The left gets ready to scream 'haters!'

CANBERRA OBSERVED Nats fracas points up need for vigilance

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Divisions undermine Morrison's leadership

SOCIETY UNDER THREAT The time is now for a real deal for the family

NCC SYDNEY DINNER Speakers spark keenness for a challenging 2019

NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT Aborigines hope to benefit in Kimberley development

CLIMATE CHANGE Rising sea levels? Pacific island data says 'no'

ROYAL COMMISSION Big banks shaken and stirred in their swamp

U.S. HISTORY Slavery: a yet unresolved legacy

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS The U.S. and China: more than trade is at stake

SOCIETY UNDER THREAT Partisan divide must vanish for defence of civilisational foundation: Christianity

MUSIC ABBA live: just not in person or on stage

CINEMA Coco: Family and home trump 'identity'

BOOK REVIEW Remnant hopes for post-Brexit Britain

BOOK REVIEW The Great War, raw and uncensored

HUMOUR A few more snippets from Forget's Dictionary of Inaccurate Facts, Furphys and Falsehoods

POETRY

LETTERS

Books promotion page

THE PECULIAR CASE OF THE ELECTRIC CONSTABLE:
A True Tale of Passion, Poison and Pursuit

Carol Baxter

$19.95


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(London: Oneworld Publications, 2014)
Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN: 9781780744032
Price: AUD$19.95

 

Book description

The electrifying story of a criminal Quaker, a poisoned mistress, and the dawn of the information age in Victorian England. 

“A murder has just been committed ...” said the now historic message repeated in books and articles all over the world. 

When Quaker forger John Tawell disembarked in Sydney in 1815, none could have imagined that he would become the most historically “influential” — albeit unwittingly — of Australia’s 160,000 convict transportees. Tawell established Australia’s first retail pharmacy and built the first Quaker meeting house in New South Wales. He became a rich convict nabob like his colleague Samuel Terry, the Botany Bay Rothschild. However, unlike Terry, he eventually decided to take his fortune home to England.

Shunned by the Quakers and ridiculed by the broader community, he was a deeply troubled man when he caught the 7:42pm train from Slough station near Windsor Castle on New Year’s Day, 1845, leaving a dying woman sprawled on a nearby cottage floor. Had he murdered her or hadn’t he?

Between Slough and London’s Paddington railway station ran the only electric telegraph operation in the entire world that was capable of sending a random message at a moment’s notice. “A murder has just been committed,” began the message that pursued Tawell. 

The consequences were extraordinary. Tawell’s trial was a sensation; the struggling electric telegraph industry became a phenomenal success; the electricity industry was launched; and the communications revolution began.

 

About the author

Carol Baxter is a prize-winning author of three popular histories, all with a criminal bent, including Captain Thunderbolt and His Lady, which have been published to critical acclaim. She lives in Sydney.

 

Endorsements

“…totally irresistible” — The Independent (UK). 

“… as lively and readable as a crime novel” — The Times (London).

“… gripping” — Publishers Weekly

“a fascinating history, mystery, and portrait of a complex, contradictory man” — Daily Mail (London).


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