NOT AVAILABLE: OUT OF PRINT
The Irish community who came seeking gold brought their old-world conflict with them to the new land of Australia. The Orange and the Green focussed their antagonism on neighbourhood pubs in 1875, at a time of waning profits and underemployment on the famous Ballarat goldfields.
The mines and mining tragedies loom large in the background as the Catholic community in Ballarat celebrated the centenary of the birth of Daniel O’Connell, known as the Liberator because he won a degree of emancipation for the Catholic majority of Ireland. The mounting pressures of this special day in the life of the Globe Hotel bring young Tommy Farrell to a newfound strength and resolve, breaking free of the bonds of his youth, to claim his own liberation – freedom to believe, freedom to grow and freedom to love.
This novel is down to earth and compelling, but well-crafted and finely balanced. The vernacular of the Irish settlers and their Australian-born children which adds to the flavour of the novel, is authenticated by Jill’s grasp of Irish usage, and her working knowledge of the Irish language.
An interesting insight into early development of the Catholic Church in Australia is presented, not as an interruption to the narrative, but as an integral part of this special day in the life of the Irish in Ballarat.
248pp Paperback, 216 x 138 mm
Fiction, 1st edition
ISBN: 0 9578735 3 0
RRP $aud 23-95
The Author, Jill Blee, has a BA and an MA in history from Macquarie University, an MA in writing from the University of Western Sydney, and a PhD in History from the University of Ballarat. Her interests are principally in Irish and Irish-Australian history and literature and both have featured in her own writing. Over many years her attention has been focussed on Ballarat and the Irish migrants who settled there during and after the goldrushes of the 1850s.
Jill’s three novels published by Indra all have an Irish flavour – The Pines Hold Their Secrets, Brigid and The Liberator’s Birthday. The first concerns an Irish convict wrongly banished to Norfolk Island; the second is set in Ireland during the Irish Potato Famine, and the third focuses on a day in the life of an Irish family on the Ballarat goldfields.Jill’s From the Murray to the Sea, Indra, 2004, is a comprehensive history of the Catholic education system in the Diocese of Ballarat, Australia