June 16th 2018


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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Reflections on the bicentenary of the birth of Karl Marx

EDITORIAL Significance of report into shooting down of MH17

CANBERRA OBSERVED Lee Rhiannon: too Bolshie or not Bolshie enough?

POLITICS Wading further through the Greens party bilge

ECONOMICS Vatican document nails some of the causes of the GFC

POLITICS Greens promise to keep Australia legally stoned and welfare dependent

ENVIRONMENT Scientist sacked for challenging claims of demise of Great Barrier Reef

REDEFINITION OF MARRIAGE Humpty Dumpty has his way with words

CHRISTIANITY AND SOCIETY Tradition, Christianity and the law in contemporary Australia

EDUCATION Ladybird, ladybird: adventures in literacy

OFFICE LAUNCH NCC Sydney: a new chapter in a continuing story

ASIAN AFFAIRS Indonesia takes religious syncretism to the nth degree

WA RALLY FOR LIFE 3300 crosses in Perth poignant reminders of abortions

HUMOUR News snippets

PHILOSOPHY Bendigo initiative

MUSIC Gain is loss: Where is there left to discover?

CINEMA 2001: A Space Odyssey: Unsurpassed 50 years on

BOOK REVIEW The house that could not stand

BOOK REVIEW Australia's first official war historian

LETTERS

EDITORIAL China's pivotal role in Trump-Kim summit

Books promotion page

THE PECULIAR CASE OF THE ELECTRIC CONSTABLE:
A True Tale of Passion, Poison and Pursuit

Carol Baxter

$19.95


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(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.

 

Endorsements

“…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).


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