New review by Roger Rees: ‘… excellent novel … It is revealing, challenging and often gut wrenching.’
Now available as an ebook!
‘’If you have read The Fatal Shore and Doctor Wooreddy’s Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the World then Robbed of Every Blessing must be next”.
Robbed of Every Blessing is a dark tale set in Ireland and Van Diemen’s Land in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. The title is taken from a traditional song about transportation to the island.
Maurice O’Dwyer, a young Irishman, considers the lifeless body of an English tithe-collector slain under a rain-filled sky. From that moment it seems his fate is sealed: he and his young simpleton brother, Padraig, are exiled to Australia, An Astráil, to the convict-filled island of Van Diemen’s Land – leaving behind his love, his land, and his liberty. However, in the bush Maurice discovers that there are allies in the most unlikely of places.
“… a multilayered book written with a deep sympathy for ordinary people coping with the collision of very different worlds” —Jeff Sparrow
“With the passion of an activist and the ear of a poet, John Tully constructs his novel out of the differing perspectives of the colonial project, weaving Irish lives and English lives, black experiences and white experiences into a dense tapestry of oppression and the many little resistances it fostered. This is an account of settlement in all its complexity, a multilayered book written with a deep sympathy for ordinary people coping with the collision of very different worlds. It’s a text built from parallels, echoes and resonances, a much-needed excavation of a past that still haunts us.”
—Jeff Sparrow, co-author of Radical Melbourne: A Secret History
John A. Tully is descended from English and Irish forebears. He has lived and worked in Melbourne for 25 years, but still sees himself as a Tasmanian expatriate. A socialist and an active trade unionist, he worked as a rigger in construction and heavy industry for many years. He currently lectures in Politics and History at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of eight published books, a number of articles, book reviews and short stories. His previous book, Dark Clouds on the Mountain, also set in Tasmania, was published by Hybrid Publishers in 2010.