March 24th 2018

  Buy Issue 3016

Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Media ensure a comfy rise for Bill Shorten

CANBERRA OBSERVED Can Liberals' broad church survive schism?

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Middle-East time bomb: youth unemployment

ENVIRONMENT Europe's freeze further proof of global warming!

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Cashless debit card records positive results

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Liberals' Tasmanian victory: the implications

OPINION The height of absurdity: education as business

ECONOMICS AND CHINA Eyes averted from the dragon in the marketplace

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM The state attacking the Church: lessons from history

FAMILY POLITICS A Trojan horse for monitoring children

NORTH AMERICA The cultural and political mosaic that is Canada

CINEMA Mary Magdalene on film: a new interpretation

MUSIC Audio-visual: or, how to watch your music

CINEMA The Adventures of Tintin: A light amid the bleakness

BOOK REVIEW Taking arms against the gender fluid fad

BOOK REVIEW Narrative history from a great writer



Books promotion page

A True Tale of Passion, Poison and Pursuit

Carol Baxter


Buy Book

(London: Oneworld Publications, 2014)
Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN: 9781780744032
Price: AUD$19.95


Book description

The electrifying story of a criminal Quaker, a poisoned mistress, and the dawn of the information age in Victorian England. 

“A murder has just been committed ...” said the now historic message repeated in books and articles all over the world. 

When Quaker forger John Tawell disembarked in Sydney in 1815, none could have imagined that he would become the most historically “influential” — albeit unwittingly — of Australia’s 160,000 convict transportees. Tawell established Australia’s first retail pharmacy and built the first Quaker meeting house in New South Wales. He became a rich convict nabob like his colleague Samuel Terry, the Botany Bay Rothschild. However, unlike Terry, he eventually decided to take his fortune home to England.

Shunned by the Quakers and ridiculed by the broader community, he was a deeply troubled man when he caught the 7:42pm train from Slough station near Windsor Castle on New Year’s Day, 1845, leaving a dying woman sprawled on a nearby cottage floor. Had he murdered her or hadn’t he?

Between Slough and London’s Paddington railway station ran the only electric telegraph operation in the entire world that was capable of sending a random message at a moment’s notice. “A murder has just been committed,” began the message that pursued Tawell. 

The consequences were extraordinary. Tawell’s trial was a sensation; the struggling electric telegraph industry became a phenomenal success; the electricity industry was launched; and the communications revolution began.


About the author

Carol Baxter is a prize-winning author of three popular histories, all with a criminal bent, including Captain Thunderbolt and His Lady, which have been published to critical acclaim. She lives in Sydney.



“…totally irresistible” — The Independent (UK). 

“… as lively and readable as a crime novel” — The Times (London).

“… gripping” — Publishers Weekly

“a fascinating history, mystery, and portrait of a complex, contradictory man” — Daily Mail (London).

Related Articles:
BOOK REVIEW Quaker forger who poisoned his mistress

Join email list

Join e-newsletter list

Your cart has 0 items

Subscribe to NewsWeekly

Research Papers

Trending articles

COVER STORY Weatherill demand places Murray-Darling in jeopardy

CANBERRA OBSERVED Greens: wouldn't know a cowardly act if they did one

REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE Government forms say it is fluid gender marriage

EDITORIAL China completes island building in South China Sea

EDITORIAL Australia: sleepwalking towards the precipice

COVER STORY Family home in cities soaring further out of reach

CANBERRA OBSERVED Population debate needs development debate

© Copyright 2017
Last Modified:
June 20, 2015, 1:01 pm