Another great novel that inhabits the intersection of literature and history, For the Term of His Natural Life (1870s) provides a vivid account of the brutality that abounded in the early colonial history of Australian penal colonies. The novel follows Rufus Dawes, and portrays his life as a convict after he is found guilty of a murder he did not commit and is transported to a penal colony in 1827.
The novel humanizes Dawes struggle to persevere with dignity and honor in an unfair system and documents the complex and intricate interactions between those that hold power the people who suffer under their dominion.
Chapter III: The Monotony Breaks
Chapter VI: The Fate of the "Hydaspes"
Chapter VIII: A Dangerous Crisis
Chapter XI: Discoveries and Confessions
Chapter XII: A Newspaper Paragraph
Book II: Macquarie Harbour. 1833
Chapter I: The Topography of Van Diemen's Land
Chapter II: The Solitary of "Hell's Gates"
Chapter VI: A Leap in the Dark
Chapter VII: The Last of Macquarie Harbour
Chapter VIII: The Power of the Wilderness
Chapter IX: The Seizure of the "Osprey"
Chapter XI: Left at "Hell's Gates"
Chapter XIII: What the Seaweed Suggested
Chapter XIV: A Wonderful Day's Work
Chapter XVI: The Writing on the Sand
Chapter I: A Labourer in the Vineyard
Chapter II: Sarah Purfoy's Request
Chapter III: The Story of Two Birds of Prey
Chapter IV: "The Notorious Dawes"
Chapter V: Maurice Frere's Good Angel
Chapter VI: Mr. Meekin Administers Consolation
Chapter VII: Rufus Dawes's Idyll
Chapter IX: John Rex's Letter Home
Chapter X: What Became of the Mutineers of the "Osprey"
Chapter XI: A Relic of Macquarie Harbour
Chapter XIII: The Commandant's Butler
Chapter XIV: Mr. North's Indisposition
Chapter XV: One Hundred Lashes
Chapter XVI: Kicking Against the Pricks
Chapter XVII: Captain and Mrs. Frere
Chapter XVIII: In the Hospital
Chapter XIX: The Consolations of Religion
Chapter XX: A Natural Penitentiary
Chapter XXI: A Visit of Inspection
Chapter XXII: Gathering in the Threads
Chapter XXIII: Running the Gauntlet
Chapter XXVI: The Work of the Sea
Chapter XXVII: The Valley of the Shadow of Death
Chapter I: Extracted from the Diary of the Rev. James North
Chapter III: Extracted from the Diary of the Rev. James North
Chapter IV: Extracted from the Diary of the Rev. James North
Chapter V: Mr. Richard Devine Surprised
Chapter VI: In Which the Chaplain Is Taken Ill
Chapter VII: Breaking a Man's Spirit
Chapter VIII: Extracted from the Diary of the Rev. James North
Chapter XI: Extracted from the Diary of the Rev. James North
Chapter XII: The Strange Behaviour of Mr. North
Chapter XIII: Mr. North Speaks
Chapter XIV: Getting Ready for Sea
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