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Barber of Botany Bay
Robert C. Cope
A story of Australia’s first “boat people” seen through the eyes of John Nichols, a barber who is unjustly transported to the harsh convict colony of New South Wales. It tells of his fight to rebuild his life and his determination to remain true to his beliefs of self-reliance and mateship. It also illustrates the generosity of spirit which moved him to provide sanctuary for a distressed aboriginal woman who came to him out of the wild bush.
This is a novel that paints a vivid picture of the struggles of the smallholders, who gradually dragged the colony out of privation and near starvation despite the actions of a frequently stupid and brutal military junta.
A humanised history, illustrating the true worth of many of the people who were sent to the colony in chains, often as political prisoners, and frequently the victims of an oppressive legal system and class-ridden society.
The author is the great grandson of Agnes Clara Nichols, who was a descendant of the First Fleet convict (later Chief Constable) John Nichols.