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Shrift: Murder, Mutiny, Madness in 1830s NSW

Author: Peter Kelly
Print ISBN: 978-0-6484999-2-3
Epub ISBN: 978-1-6484999-3-0
Mobi ISBN: 978-0-6484999-4-7

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Ebook available:

About the project

We started discussing working on Shrift with Peter Kelly in February 2019. We did the cover design and print design of the interior of the book. It was then printed via our print-on-demand service. The book was then converted into an ebook and distributed via our online distributors.

About the book

A story is supposed to have a beginning, a middle and an end. SHRIFT is a story that is always returning to the beginning – transportation. The transported exile often sheltered under an assumed persona as protection from the brutal environment, but oftentimes the reinvented character had fatal consequences. SHRIFT is a tale from 'beyond the limits of settlement' in early NSW. The hangings, the escapes, the mutiny and the murders are all part of our colonial history, remembered (with some historical imaginings) by the participants.

About the Author

The voice of SHRIFT has its origins in the times Peter listened to his grandfather and his brothers recite the bush ballads or retell the family history – along with all the bushranger side yarns; a laconic delivery that was matched by the sparse landscape that they were passing through. The yarns were couched in the same brand of understatement they employed in their letters written under shellfire at Gallipoli or the Western Front: "Things here are fine – really enjoyed that tin of peaches. Love to you all."

Peter’s Uncle Max, a survivor of the Burma railway, spent his shortened years putting together the photos and memories of Peter’s mother's family: convict ancestors – six of them – were given recognition after generations of 'repressed memories'. Peter took up the family story (aided by the wonders of the internet) when he retired. You can't be descended from such formidable figures without wanting to tell their stories. Bookshops and local family history societies are weighed down with the records of the births, deaths and marriages of ancestor figures, but Peter wanted to recover what the life in-between meant for the convict underclass: he wanted to show how they fitted in and fell out; he wanted a vernacular history that was blood-stained with the passions of that time.

Print book screenshots

Ebook screenshots

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Published by Author Australian eBook Publisher 3 May 2019. Categories: Peter Kelly. Tags:
Book Cover Design (ebook or print), book design, ebook, ebook conversion, ebook distribution, POD, Print Design, Print-on-Demand