Archive for the ‘Historical novels’ Category


Sunday, August 5th, 2007

How can one man stand up against against the will of his own people and refuse to fight in a war he doesn’t believe in? What sort of courage does it take to refuse to become one more brave soldier going off to war?

Or is Gerry’s anti-war attitude just a selfish desire to continue his comfortable life with his girl-friend, his leftist poetry-readings and his botanical research?

Set in New Zealand and Italy during World War ll, this novel portrays the anxieties and dilemma for a man who is conscripted to fight in a war he doesn’t believe in. And when he is conscripted, Gerry Cook realises he is not heroic enough to refuse the call-up. Gerry’s resolution of his dilemma is as clear as it is shocking.

The intensely local setting of Lancewood portrays a very ordinary man and woman confronting universal questions of duty and love, honour and freedom.

In Alan Marshall’s first novel, he provides a perspective on war, in which rebellion against authority is the individual’s main defence.

1999, 210pp
Paperback, 215 x 138 mm
ISBN 0 9585805 1 0
Fiction, 1st Edition
RRP $aud 20.95
ISBN-13 978

The Author
Born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, Alan Marshall dropped out of high school to travel. He gained his BSc (Hons) from the University of Wolverhampton in England, his M.Phil from Massey University in New Zealand, and completed his doctorate at the University of Wollongong, New south Wales. Alan currently lives in Slovakia.

Lancewood is Alan’s first novel.

Holtermann’s Nugget

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

When mining magnate, pioneer photographer and public benefactor, Bernhardt Holtermann died prematurely at the height of his success, the speculation and rumours started.

Some who knew Bernhardt closely had guessed the true nature of his relationship with Victoria, his children’s beautiful governess. They enjoyed the lavish parties and genteel soirées given by Harriet – Mrs Holtermmann, but some believed they detected an edge of tension under the formal cordiality between herself and Bernhardt.

Had she tired of being patient with her husband’s attentions to Victoria, or had Victoria tired of waiting for the divorce which would release her lover to become her husband?

Holtermann’s Nugget is an historical novel based on the life of the successful 19th century miner and businessman, the pioneer photographer, Bernhardt Holtermann. Bernhardt came to Sydney as a young man, to avoid conscription and the restrictive life of Hamburg in the 1850s.

Having made his fortune in gold mining at Hill End, Holtermann became famous as one of the most successful businessmen in Sydney during the early 1880s. His tireless drive for building his new country and showing Australia off to the world with magnificent panoramic photographs took him to international trade fairs in Philadelphia and Paris.

Bernhardt’s untimely death on his 47th birthday adds romance and intrigue to this novel of an adventurous life. Holtermann’s main bequest to the nation are his magnificent photographs which won for him international acclaim, and for Australia, international recognition.

2000, 168pp
Paperback, 216 x 138 mm
ISBN 0 9585805 5 3
Historical fiction, 1st Edition
RRP $aud 20.85
ISBN-13 978 0958580557

The Author
Gunter Schaule was born in Germany and, like his hero Bernhardt Holtermann, migrated to Australia to live a different life and make his career in a new country. Gunter has travelled widely, and maintains close friendships with people in all continents. He still manages his own successful business, but allows time for writing and enjoying his life.

Gunter’s previous books, all non-fiction, are all selling successfully internationally. Holtermann’s Nugget is his first novel, and the first of his books to be published by Indra. Gunter lives in Sydney with his wife, Marianne.

Charlotte Badger – Buccaneer

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Charlotte Badger became the first white woman to live in New Zealand, after taking part in a mutiny which followed two vicious floggings on board a civilian cargo ship. This novel recreates the adventurous life of this remarkable woman fugitive, her daughter, and their fellow mutineers.

Escaping from Van Diemen’s Land and New South Wales after commandeering the colonial brig, the Venus, the mutineers settle for an initially peaceful life with the Maoris in New Zealand. But simmering tensions within their group eventually burst into the open. The peace is shattered and escape to America is the only chance of survival. But how many will reach America?

This is Charlotte’s story, telling the reader in her own voice, the shock of being condemned to transportation, the drudgery of work in the Female Factory, the delight of little Anny, the baby at her breast, and the companionship of fellow convicts and the crew of the Venus, relaxing in the evening, singing on deck en route to Van Diemen’s Land.

Charlotte tells also of the cruel master of the Venus, who delighted in flogging Charlotte and her Irish friend and fellow convict, Kitty; of the terror of a wild storm at sea; escaping from the Maori war canoes, and the antagonism that builds up among the mutineers.

This is a story of courage, of determination and a mother’s love for her child.

June 2002, 248pp
Paperback, 216 x 138 mm
ISBN 0 9578735 2 2
RRP $aud 23.95
ISBN-13 9780957873520

The Author
Angela Badger was born in the New Forest, Hampshire, England. She emigrated to Australia in 1970 and maintains ongoing contact with UK. Her interest in Australian history is the main source of inspiration for her fiction. Charlotte, her daughter Anny, her friends Kitty, Lanky and the others were just names in the historical record until Angela Badger started researching the life of an earlier member of the Badger family.

Angela’s books
The Water People, Indra
Charlotte Badger – Buccaneer, Indra
The Boy from Buninyong

Junior fiction
The River’s Revenge
Poles Apart

Angela is currently researching her next novel, set in southern New South Wales in the late nineteenth century. This novel promises to continue her easy to read style of presenting historical events as lived adventures involving real people.


Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

nullONLY 2 LEFT!

Jill Blee’s second novel, Brigid, is at once a travel story and an historical novel set in modern Ireland, where Jill’s first visit to her ancestral homeland is hijacked by the very real presence of her long-dead great aunt, Brigid.
While Jill intends to acquaint herself with the country, the people and the history from which her great-grandparents had migrated, Aunt Brigid single-mindedly steers her back to the wind swept cliffs of County Clare, and the high Burren above the village of Ballyvaghan.
Brigid has some unfinished business which quickly becomes Jill’s main quest, through which she is brought into a much deeper experience of the great famine than her history books could ever give her.
As she follows her aunt’s story on the west coast and back to Dublin, Jill’s own travel story, complete with Lonely Planet Guide, Irish pubs and Norman ruins, is told with an intense imagery which presents Ireland in her beauty and her romance as clearly as could any cinematographer.

Jill Blee is first and foremost an historian, but one who uses fiction to illuminate the past. What Brigid does best is to cast light on what the experience of the famine in a small community, Ballyvaghan, meant in emotional terms for those experiencing it.

This is a compassionate novel, well-researched, a compelling read if one has an interest in what is quite recent history, a history which threatens to repeat itself in the modern world. Frances Devlin Glass

Nov 1999,
262ppPaperback, 216 x 138 mm
ISBN 0 9585805 4 5
RRP $aud 21.95
ISBN-13 978

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

Black Ice: A Story of Modern China

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

Black Ice is a novel set in China, a personal account of the turbulent years of Mao’s continuous revolution, including the social and political upheaval of the Cultural Revolution.

This is a Chinese story which brings to life the suffering, the adventure, the crushing losses, the unvanquished idealism of the otherwise anonymous heroes and heroines of China’s post-war period.

Black Ice tells the story of Mo Bing, from her under-cover work in Shanghai as a Communist Party cadre during the Civil War, through her denunciation and fall from grace during the Cultural Revolution to her rehabilitation and retirement in the early 1990s.

Significant parts of the story include the experience of Mo Bing’s husband as a soldier and prisoner of war during the Korean War. The Cultural Revolution, and the Red Guard movement feature strongly through Mo Bing and her son.

Life can never be exactly the same for Mo Bing and millions of her compatriots when Marshal Lin Biao, Mao’s ‘closest comrade-in-arms’ flees after being accused of attempting to assassinate Mao.

Shaken by the Cultural Revolution, as were many of her generation, Mo Bing develops as a survivor, her survival based on faith in herself, her undying idealism and her personal integrity.

With Black Ice, Trevor Hay and Fang Xiangshu continue their collaboration, building onto their earlier introduction of a distinctly Chinese aesthetic style into Australian literature.

June 1997. 182pp
Paperback, 215 x 138 mm
ISBN 0 9587718 6 3
RRP $aud 20.95

The AuthorsTrevor Hay is a senior lecturer in Literature and Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. He is a speaker of Mandarin Chinese and has lived and worked in China. He has continued to make regular return visits over more than twenty years.
Published works include Tartar City Woman, (Melbourne University Press, 1990), which won the Braille and Talking Book Library’s Audio Book of the Year Award in 1991.

Fang Xiangshu is a lecturer in Chinese at Deakin University. His doctoral thesis is on the Red Guard movement.
Originally from Shanghai, Fang is now an Australian citizen. He came to Australia as a visiting academic in 1984, staying until 1986. Upon his return to China, he found himself in trouble over ‘counter-revolutionary remarks’. Fang fled China and returned to Australia in 1987, where in 1990, he was granted permanent resident status on humanitarian grounds.

Trevor Hay and Fang Xiangshu wrote East Wind, West Wind (Penguin, 1992), which was well reviewed in a wide range of publications.

Body and Soul: Lilbet’s Romance

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

body andsoul cover
Set in the summer and autumn of 1938, Body and Soul is eighteen-year-old disabled Lilbet Marks’s very biased account of the love affair between Felix Goldfarb, a recent migrant to Melbourne, and Lilbet’s twin sister Ella. Lilbet adores Ella, but also envies her for being beautiful, for not being disabled and for her ability to dazzle men.

Lilbet’s father Simon Marks, her elder sister Julie, and all their friends are entranced by Felix Goldfarb’s winning blend of worldly sophistication and boyish charm. Only clever Lilbet suspects Felix might not be all that he seems. Also, it is imperative for her physical and psychological wellbeing that Ella remains at the family home, Adeline Terrace, in Caulfield. Lilbet is determined never to be parted from her twin.

Within a few months, Felix departs for Sydney, leaving behind gigantic gambling debts and a pregnant Ella. Though he subsequently sends for Ella, Lilbet manages through clever manipulation to keep her twin by her side.

As Lilbet records the day to day events at home, her newspaper cuttings and notes explore 1938 attitudes in general, the intolerance shown at the time towards the disabled, the ambivalence she feels towards her family, her insecurities, fear of loneliness and the double-edged sword of love and envy.

Though it is a young woman’s musings, the voice is appropriate to the times in which she lived. Among the press clippings, the unconfirmed reports coming out of Hitler’s Germany of anti-Jewish violence and disappearances of whole Jewish communities, and the increasing belligerence of Germany towards her neighbours add to the growing tension for this Jewish family in Melbourne of the 1930s.

September 2003
Fiction; First Edition
ISBN: 0 9578735 9 X
ISBN-13: 9780957873599
RRP $22-95, 240 pp
Paperback, 216 x 138 mm

The Author
Goldie Alexander was born in Melbourne and has lived there most of her life. She writes for adults, young adults and children of all ages, as well as taking workshops and seminars.

For adults
Unjust Desserts, 2002

For younger readers
Seawall, 2002
Killer Virus, 2002
Right and Wrong, 2002 (co-written with Hazel Edwards)
My Story: Surviving Sydney Cove, 2000 (Published in the UK as My Story: Transported, 2002)
Little Big School, 1998
6788, 1997
Email Murder Mystery
, 1997 (co-written with Hazel Edwards)
Astronet, 1996