August 3rd 2013


  Buy Issue 2905
Qty:

Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Why the Labor Party really fears Abbott

EDITORIAL: Rudd's new border policy: will it work?

INDUSTRY: A solution to the motor manufacturing crisis

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: Christians singled out for discrimination: report

SOCIETY: Assessing the destructive impact of divorce

THE PRICE OF FREEDOM: Strategy for a cultural counter-revolution

CHINA: Persecution of Falun Gong is genocide

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: China's intransigence blocks Taiwan's civil aviation bid

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: Teenage girl shot by Taliban a role model for Muslim youth

OPINION: Obama drags US politics down to Third World's level

LIFE ISSUES: Slow but steady rollback of US abortion industry

LETTERS

CINEMA: The thinking Christian's horror film

BOOK REVIEW: Tour of discovery by 14 scholars

BOOK REVIEW: Legendary female outlaw Jessie Hickman

Books promotion page

survey link

FONT SIZE:

BOOK REVIEW:
Legendary female outlaw Jessie Hickman




News Weekly, August 3, 2013

 

THE BURIAL

by Courtney Collins

(Sydney: Allen and Unwin)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN: 9781743311875
RRP: AUD$27.95

 

Reviewed by Michael E. Daniel

 

Over the years, numerous Australian studies and novels have been written about male bushrangers. However, comparatively few have paid specific attention to female bushrangers.

The Burial is a fictitious re-telling of the life of the remarkable Jessie Hickman, a cattle-rustler during the 1910s and early 1920s, and is the author’s first novel.

Courtney Collins first heard of her protagonist while growing up in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, near where the main events in Hickman’s life took place. Her novel has been shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards — the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing.

While Jessie Hickman was a real-life figure and is regarded by some as Australia’s last woman bushranger, Collins’s fictitious account differs on many points from the historical record.

The story opens dramatically with Jessie, 22, on the run from the law.

We are told that Jessie Hickman was born in 1894 to poor parents, who gave her up to a travelling circus when she was only a small child. She came to perform in the circus until it broke up shortly after World War I.

She then turned to horse-stealing, for which she served a two-year jail sentence. She was paroled on condition that she be apprenticed to the lonely and tormented Fitzgerald “Fitz” Henry.

She travels to the bush where she becomes enmeshed in Fitz’s business of horse-rustling and cattle-duffing. Fitz threatens her with a return to prison should she refuse to co-operate. Jessie effectively becomes Fitz’s slave and is ultimately forced into marrying him.

When Fitz is wounded in an accident, he hires an Aboriginal stockman, Jack Brown, to continue stealing livestock with Jessie.

Jessie looks for a way out of the unhappy marriage of convenience in which she is trapped.

On one dramatic night, Jessie, heavily pregnant and about to give birth, can endure Fitz’s abuse no longer. She kills him and flees to the mountains, taking her husband’s horse, Houdini.

Pursuing her are Fitz’s Aboriginal stockman, Jack Brown, and Sergeant Andrew Barlow, the new policeman in the district, whose father has arranged his posting to this remote location in the hope that his son would break free from his opium addiction. .

Both Brown and Barlow are anxious to capture Jessie, not only to claim a reward, but also to prevent her from being captured and killed by a group of vigilantes, who are hunting Jessie to avenge the theft of their livestock.

The Burial is an engaging novel. Although it would be difficult to describe it as high literature, the writing has a lyrical quality about it.

However, readers should be warned that some of the scenes that the author describes, particularly Jessie’s treatment of her newborn baby, are confronting and the novel contains coarse language.

Notwithstanding this reservation, the book is undeniably a thoroughly good read. 


Purchase this book at the bookshop:

 



























Join email list

Join e-newsletter list


Your cart has 0 items



Subscribe to NewsWeekly

Research Papers



Trending articles

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cardinal rebuts commission's 'Get Pell' campaign

COVER STORY Anti-discrimination law validates Safe Schools

U.S. AFFAIRS First Brexit, now Trump: it's the economy, stupid!

INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT Wikileaks reveals U.S, funding behind anti-coal campaign

COVER STORY QUT discrimination case exposes Human Rights Commission failings

FOREIGN AFFAIRS How the left whitewashed Fidel Castro

ANALYSIS What is possible to a Trump Whitehouse



News and views from around the world

19-year-old homeschooled pro-lifer wins Ontario election by landslide (Lianne Laurence)

Trump makes right choice for education secretary (National Review)

Transgender conformity (Katherine Kersten)

Sex education programs do not reduce teen pregnancy or STI rates (Philippa Taylor)

Photographer who captured Safe Schools founder harassing bystander shuts down business (Frank Chung)

Is the global middle class here to stay? (Samuel Rines)

Donald Trump could end America's new feudalism (Joel Kotkin)

It just got easier to find the perpetrators of Stalin's purges (David Filipov)

Castro's death eradicate bacillus of old-style Marxism (Gerald Warner)

Labor MP Terri Butler in QUT race case apology (Geoff Chambers)



























© Copyright NewsWeekly.com.au 2011
Last Modified:
December 2, 2016, 2:36 pm