One of our main specialties, our extensive Tasmanian section encompasses Tasmanian novels and poetry (by Tasmanians, and/or about Tasmania); general and specific Tasmanian history; Tasmanian travel and walking guides; independently published works; souvenir and gift pictorial books; and secondhand Tasmanian books.
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Australian journalist Peter Grose tells the infamous true story of a band of convicts who escaped the living hell of the penal colony at Sarah Island in Van Diemen's Land. By stealing a leaky and untested brig they had helped build, then sailing it across the Pacific from Tasmania to Chile with neither a map nor a chronometer, ten convicts began an incredible escape and an unbelievable journey.
The Bay: The European History of St Helens
St Helens’ tin mining history and social history are showcased here in The Bay. Richardson reveals the hardships endured by the early settlers of St Helens before tin was discovered, and the even more significant changes when tin mining ended.
Matthew Evans captures Fat Pig Farm’s year of growing, cooking and feasting. It’s part how-to, part evocative diary, part cookbook, and with more than 100 recipes it is the perfect inspiration for those about to embark on a simpler life.
The Lost Boys of Mr Dickens
Patricia Giles, Painter
An Unconventional Wife: The life of Julia Sorell Arnold
Julia Sorell was an original. A colonial belle from Tasmania, vivacious and warm-hearted, Julia’s marriage to Tom Arnold in 1850 propelled her into one of the most renowned families in England and into a circle that included Lewis Carroll and George Eliot. Her eldest daughter became a bestselling novelist, while her grandchildren included the writer Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, and the evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley.
Longlisted for the Premier's Literary Awards 2019.
The Huts of kunanyi / Mount Wellington
The Huts of kunanyi / Mount Wellington draws on newspaper accounts, postcards, and photographs that still exist today. A testament to their short time of fame, Maria Grist has written this book in the hope that this romantic episode of our mountain’s history should not be forgotten.
He was an Austrian immigrant; she came from Tasmania. He grew up beside the Carinthian Alps; she climbed mountains when few women dared. Their honeymoon glimpse of Cradle Mountain lit an urge that filled their waking hours. Others might have kept this splendour to themselves, but Gustav Weindorfer and Kate Cowle sensed the significance of a place they sought to share with the world. When they stood on the peak in the heat of January 1910, they imagined a national park for all. Kindred: A Cradle Mountain Love Story traces the achievements of these unconventional adventurers and their fight to preserve the wilderness where they pioneered eco-tourism.
Longlisted for the Premier's Literary Awards 2019.
Duck and Green Peas! For Ever!
‘Duck and green peas! For ever!’ This was a convict girl’s version of utopia in Tasmania. How many other people have searched for or stumbled upon utopia in Tasmania? Quite a few, as it turns out. They range from Aborigines to modern commune-dwellers, from scheming settlers to hopeful farmers, from young families escaping the devastation of war in Europe to those building a bomb-proof bunker in the Tasmania bush. Sometimes they succeeded. Sometimes they failed. This book tells their stories.
Top Walks in Tasmania
Experienced travel writer Melanie Ball has hiked every track in this book for walkers of all levels of experience. Included are some of Tasmania's most famous walks, such as the Overland Track and Frenchman's Cap, plus some hidden gems. Most of the tracks can be completed in a few hours, but there are some multi-day walks for those wanting more of a challenge. For each walk there is detailed trail information, a map and photographs.
Bone of Fact
Back in print: David Walsh - the creator of Mona in Hobart - is both a giant and an enigma in the Australian art world. A multi-millionaire who made his money gambling, David has turned a wild vision into a unique reality; he is in turns controversial, mysterious and idolised. A Bone of Fact is his utterly unconventional and absorbing memoir.
Snips & Snaps: The Frith Family
In the early nineteenth century, likenesses in profile, or silhouettes, sometimes delicately highlighted in gold were all ordinary folk could afford. The Frith family travelled the British Isles inviting the "gentry and residents" to sit for these "highly finished" portraits. This art form was overtaken by the camera and photographic portraiture. This is the story of portraiture and photography in its transitional stage during the colonial foundations of Australia and New Zealand.
SV May Queen
Designed and built in 1867 on the Huon River, SV May Queen is one of Tasmania's most distinctive coastal traders. Her story highlights many aspects of early Tasmanian craftsmanship and life in colonial times.
The authors Rex Kerrison and Richard Johnson have treated the May Queen as a living being, starting from the early days of her working life. She now sits resplendent in Constitution Dock, Hobart.
Journeys Into the Wild: The Photography of Peter Dombrovskis
Journeys into the Wild is a poetic escape to a fragile and breathtaking wilderness, with celebrated photographer Peter Dombrovskis as our guide. Bob Brown and Peter Dombrovskis forged their friendship in the battle to save the Gordon and Franklin rivers, and the two remained friends until Peter's death in 1996. During the campaign, Bob accompanied Peter on one of his kayak trips down the Franklin and observed his process as a photographer. Peter would go on to take one of the most famous photographs in Australian history, Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, Franklin River, an image that featured in calendars and diaries across Australia and that was integral to the success of the campaign.
An Activist Life
An Activist Life is the story of an apparently ordinary woman - a high-school English teacher from northwest Tasmania - who became a fiery environmental warrior, pitted against some of the most powerful business and political forces in the country. Christine Milne tells her story as an environmental and human rights activist at the national and global level.
Me Write Myself
The fate of the First Nations peoples of Van Diemen's Land is one of the most infamous chapters in Australian, and world history. The men, women, and children exiled to Flinders Island in the 1830s and 40s have often been written about, but never allowed to speak for themselves. This book aims to change that. Penned by the exiles during their fifteen years at the settlement called Wybalenna, items in the Flinders Island Chronicle, sermons, letters, and petitions offer a compelling corrective to traditional portrayals of a hopeless, dispossessed, illiterate people's final days. The exiles did not see themselves as prisoners, but as a Free People. This is a compelling story that will profoundly affect understandings of Tasmanian and Australian history.
The Vandemonian War
In the 1820s and 1830s the British deliberately pushed the Aboriginal tribespeople out, driving them to the edge of existence. Whole societies were deliberately obliterated. The Vandemonian War was one of the darkest stains on a former empire which arrogantly claimed perpetual sunshine. This is the story of that fight, redrawn from neglected handwriting nearly two centuries old. Acclaimed author Nick Brodie now exposes the largely untold story of how the British truly occupied Van Diemen’s Land, deploying regimental soldiers and special forces, armed convicts and mercenaries.
Longlisted for the Premier's Literary Awards 2019.
Tasmania's Forgotten Frontier
Almost five years before the first British settlement on mainland Tasmania (in the Derwent estuary), sealers established semi-permanent settlements on the islands off the North-East Coast. The sealers exploited not only the seal population but also the indigenous tribes that had inhabited the northeastern coastal plains for thousands of years. Following the decimation of the native population, a string of isolated grazing establishments became the first settlements in this remote corner of the state. John Beswick significantly identifies and records in detail, for the first time, the settlers who braved the isolation to establish long term grazing ventures, and reveals the exploration, exploitation and settlement of Tasmania’s far north-east coast.
The story begins with the toppling of a premier, and ends with David Walsh, the man behind MONA, taking an eccentric stand against pokie machines and the political status quo. It is a story of broken politics and back-room deals. It shows how giving one company the licence to all the poker machines in Tasmania has led to several hundred million dollars of profits (mainly from problem gamblers) being diverted from public use, through a series of questionable and poorly understood deals. Losing Streak is a meticulous, compelling case study in governance failure, which has implications for pokies reform throughout Australia.
Shortlisted for the Premier's Literary Awards 2017.
Following on from Simon Barnard's award-winning book A-Z of Convicts in Van Diemen's Land and bestseller Convict Tattoos, here is the strange but true story of convict William Swallow.
It’s 23 October 1821 and William Swallow is standing on the deck of the Malabar for muster. He is wearing a canary yellow convict uniform and his legs are chained. He’s just completed the 121-day sea voyage from London to Hobart Town, but his wild and audacious adventures have barely begun, for he will soon ditch the convict uniform and the chains, take part in a mutiny, become a pirate captain and fool the world in what just might be the most outrageous and unbelievable true story in Australia’s convict history.
A true tale for old and young.
The book we have been waiting for. Discovering Hobart looks at historic Hobart street-by-street, with photographs old and new. A well-priced gift for locals and visitors to our beautiful city.
Hop Kilns of Tasmania
In this new publication, Pen Tayler brings to life the history of the hop kilns on 12 properties, tracing the highs and lows of the industry and its effect on those who relied on it.
The Abels Volume 1 (2nd ed.)
This highly anticipated and comprehensive guide is now released in its second edition, covering Tasmania's Mountains over 1100 metres high.
Pufferfish - aka Detective Inspector Franz Heineken - remains haunted by his failure to apprehend the killer of a young Hobart woman. He absorbs himself in the mystery disappearance of Romeo Ferrari, whose bloodied clues - including a gun - link Romeo to the death of a cop and an international drug cartel war. Across the wilds of Tasmania, from the majestic Central Plateau to remote Arthur River and using his intimate knowledge of the the island's people, Pufferfish aims himself at the increasingly dangerous mystery of Romeo's gun, and at the evil predator stalking his patch.
Old Sea Dogs 2
After a much anticipated wait, bestselling author Andrew Wilson has finally completed his second book in the Old Sea Dogs of Tasmania. Book 2 features a tender load of 'new’ Old Sea Dogs and seascapes from all around Tasmania, including remote destinations such as King Island, Flinders Island, Port Davey as well as stories on the world renowned Franklin Wooden Boat Town, The Australian Wooden Boat Festival, The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race and much much more. Captured in glorious black and white and for the first time, colour photography, Old Sea Dogs of Tasmania 2 is a striking and beautiful book that includes 5 fold-out sections.
Locomotive Enginemen of Tasmania
Locomotive Enginemen of Tasmania is a tribute to the men at the coal face of Tasmania's railways, whose fascinating stories paint a vivid picture of days long gone, from a time when the 'iron roads' were crucial to the fortunes of the state. Stories from nine Tasmanian enginemen, who worked all manner of trains throughout the state from the 1940s to the 1980s are featured in this pictorial book. From Hobart suburbans to Fingal coal trains, to the glamorous Tasman Limited and from the Garratts of the Emu Bay Railway to the Mount Lyell Rack - these men saw it all. A wonderful addition to the library for the train enthusiast.
Sixteen-year-old Stephanie West has been dragged from Sydney to remote Maatsuyker Island off the coast of Tasmania by her parents, hoping to come to terms with their grief over the death of Steph's twin brother. Cut off from friends and the comforts of home, Steph's saviour is Tom Forrest, a 19-year-old deckhand aboard a crayfishing boat. When the weather allows, Tom visits the island, and he and Steph soon form an attraction. Wildlight is an exquisite, vividly detailed exploration of the wayward journey of adolescence, and how the intense experience of a place can change the course of even the most well-planned life.
Field Guide To Tasmanian Birds
This comprehensive field guide combines information to aid the identification of birds found in Tasmania with photographs of each species in its natural habitat. Bird entries are organized into six groups: waterbirds; birds of prey; rails and hens; waders; gulls and terns; owls, parrots and kingfishers; and songbirds. Each entry includes: information on identification, behaviour, voice, habitat, and breeding, accompanied by a colour photograph and distribution map.
Corruption and Skullduggery
In 1805 Maria Riseley was single, poor, pregnant and working in a female factory. Then Edward Lord arrives. A lieutenant in the marines, he was posted to a tiny settlement called Hobart Town, where women are scarce. So he has come to Sydney, a much more promising field. This is a story not just about two people from different social classes making their way in a new society; Alison uses their story to shine a light on early government in Van Diemen's Land, exposing the corruption and skullduggery that went on at all levels of administration, from the top down.
Award-winning cartoonist Jon Kudelka shares his sketchy love letter to Australia's southernmost capital city with a series of watercolours from the heart.
The Making of MONA
The inside story of Australia's most exciting museum. MONA has shaken up the art world by breathing life and delight back into the museum experience and is now hailed as the most important addition to the Australian cultural landscape since the opening of the Sydney Opera House. Visitors are flocking to MONA, but what is it about MONA that makes it such a transformative experience? And how on earth did an amateur private collector manage to set up one of the world's great art destinations on the edge of a remote island city? This is the inside story of how MONA came to be.
Optimism: Reflections on a Life of Action
Inspirational, compassionate, outraged, Bob Brown's stories are rich with metaphor, entertaining and full of warmth. A great promoter of activism he is keen for all to experience life as richly as he has. Although he has seen much of the world through the prism of politics he still believes that there is reason to believe that the changes he has pursued can be made and will be for the better. His stories reveal a complex man with a quick wit and a joy for life.
The Black War: Fear, Sex and Resistance in Tasmania
'At its core, The Black War is a story about two peoples who just wanted to be free of each other...sooner or later Europeans and Aborigines were bound to clash, but it was Tasmania's unique circumstances that turned this encounter into a 'war of extermination'.
Between 1825 and 1831 close to 200 Britons and 1000 Aborigines died violently in Tasmania's Black War. It was by far the most intense frontier conflict in Australia's history, yet many Australians know little about it. The Black War takes a unique approach to this historic event, looking chiefly at the experiences and attitudes of those who took part in the conflict. By contrasting the perspectives of colonists and Aborigines, Nicholas Clements takes a deeply human look at the events that led to the shocking violence and tragedy of the war, detailing raw personal accounts that shed light on the tribes, families and individuals involved as they struggled to survive in their turbulent world.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
A novel of the cruelty of war, the tenuousness of life, and the impossibility of love. August, 1943, in the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Thai-Burma death railway, Australian surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, cholera, and beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. This savagely beautiful novel is a story about the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2014.
Abandoned Women: Scottish Convicts Exiled Beyond the Seas
In the early 19th century crofters and villagers streamed into the burgeoning cities of Scotland. Orphan girls, single mothers, women with feckless husbands and widows all struggled to feed and clothe themselves, and were left with few options other than theft and prostitution. Anxious to quell the rising tide of petty crime, the Scottish authorities imposed harsh sentences, consigning these women - and often their children too - for transportation to the Australian colonies.
Lucy Frost tells the stories of the lives of a boatload of women and their children who arrived in Hobart in 1838. While convict men of that period worked in road gangs, the women were assigned as domestic servants, seamstresses or to work in dairies, and were often ill-treated by their employers. Some managed to snare a good husband once they'd earned their tickets of leave, and became solid citizens. For others errors and disasters continued to plague their lives in the colony.
The Roving Party
Winner of the 2011 Vogel Literary Award, Rohan Wilson's novel is a surprisingly beautiful evocation of horror and brutality: a meditation on the intricacies of human nature at its most raw. The Roving Party is a historical novel tackling the story of John Batman in Tasmania in the 1830s.
The roving party consists of Batman, ruthless, single-minded; four convicts, the youngest still only a stripling; Gould, a downtrodden farmhand; two free black trackers; and powerful, educated Black Bill, brought up from childhood as a white man. Their purpose is massacre, and with promises of freedom, land grants and money, each is willing to risk his life for the prize.
Peter Timms leads us on a journey through his adopted city of Hobart, Australia's smallest, most southerly, least prosperous, but arguably most beautiful state capital. He reveals a city in transition, shaking off its dark and troubled past to claim its special place in the contemporary world. From Hobart's convict legacy, its spectacular natural setting, heritage architecture and climate, to crime rates, economic hardship and the recent disfigurements of the developers, Timms brings a wealth of fresh insights, exploring the city with a mixture of affection, admiration, frustration and sadness, interviewing a wide range of residents along the way.
Those who have experienced Hobart as tourists will be surprised and intrigued by the lively, complex society this book reveals. Those who live here will surely discover their city anew.
In Tasmania on holiday, novelist and Chatwin biographer Nicholas Shakespeare discovered a house on a 9-mile beach and instantly decided this was where he wanted to live. He didn't know then that his ancestor was the corrupt and colourful Anthony Fenn Kemp, now known as ‘the Father of Tasmania', or that he would find relatives living on the island.
Shakespeare interweaves his personal journey into a new-found paradise with a brilliant account of the two turbulent centuries of Tasmania's history in this fascinating and timely book.
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